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What is GHB?
Gamma hydroxy butyrate or Gamma hydroxybutyric acid, Sodium
is a central nervous system depressant that can relax
or sedate the body. At higher doses it can slow breathing
and heart rate to dangerous levels.
GHB is made from: gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and Sodium
Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide - basically it is degreasing
solvent or floor stripper mixed with drain cleaner. When
GBL or BD or products containing them are ingested, GHB
is produced in the body.
body manufactures GHB for its normal metabolism. The only
reason people take GHB at a party is to get high, not
for their health. People are kidding themselves if they
imagine they're taking a vitamin supplement or amino acid,
even though GHB has been marketed as such. Just because
trace, minute amounts of GHB are found in a human body
doesn't make the lab-created form of it safe to consume!
What does GHB look like and how is it used?
GHB can be produced in clear liquid, white powder, tablet, and
capsule forms. When in clear liquid form it looks just like
water. It can be mistaken for water because it is usually found
in a small (30ml) clear plastic bottle, a water bottle, or even
Gatorade bottles, which contains several doses. One dosage is
usually a capful. There are approximately 9 hits per bottle,
but this, too varies depending on the concentration of the mix.
GHB has become notorious for its use in crimes, particularly
rape. Colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it can be slipped
into drinks and ingested without the victim having any clue.
It causes sedation, often rendering the victim helpless. It
also produces amnesia, making it very difficult to arrest and
convict a perpetrator.
What are the effects of GHB?
A) The effects of GHB include: Intoxication, increased energy,
happiness, talking, desire to socialize, feeling affectionate
and playful, sensuality, enhanced sexual experience, muscle
relaxation, loss of coordination due to loss of muscle tone,
nausea, difficulty concentrating, loss of gag reflex. GHB's
intoxicating effects begin 10 to 20 minutes after the drug is
taken. The effects typically last up to 4 hours, depending on
What are the side effects of GHB use?
The side effects of GHB use include: nausea, headaches, drowsiness,
dizziness, amnesia, vomiting, loss of muscle control, respiratory
problems, loss of consciousness, being conscious but unable
to move, and death, sedation, desire to sleep, rambling incoherent
speech, giddiness, silliness, difficulty thinking, slurred speech,
passing out, and death. - Especially when combined with alcohol
or other drugs
Can you overdose on GHB?
Yes, an overdose of GHB can occur rather quickly. The signs
are similar to those of other sedatives: drowsiness, sleep,
loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of reflexes,
impaired breathing, slowed heart rate, respiratory depression,
seizures, hypothermia, coma, blocked airway due to loss of gag
reflex, and ultimately death.
has several characteristics that increase the likelihood of
toxicity," says Dr. Frankenheim. "A small increase
in dose can push the sedative effects to a lethal level. High
doses of GHB overwhelm the body's ability to eliminate the drug,
and therefore lead to greater effects of longer duration than
expected." GHB's purity and strength are especially difficult
to determine because the drug can be made from a number of chemical
formulas, which differ in the amount of GHB produced when metabolized
by the user's body.
What are the effects of GHB withdrawal?
The effects of withdrawal from GHB are: insomnia, anxiety, tremors,
Is GHB addictive?
Because widespread use of GHB is relatively recent, the worst
effects of this drug are not known yet. There are indications,
however, that the potential may be significant. GHB users have
reported that they need higher and higher doses to get the effects
that they want, and that when they try to quit, they can't.
What are the slang terms used for GHB?
"G" (most common), Gamma-OH, Liquid E, Fantasy, Georgia
Home Boy, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy (is
not ecstasy), Scoop, Water, Everclear, Great Hormones at Bedtime,
GBH, Soap, Easy Lay, Salty Water, G-Riffick, Cherry Meth, Organic
Quaalude, and Jib.
What is the extent of use of GHB?
GHB and two of its precursors, gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and
1,4 butanediol (BD) have been involved in poisonings, overdoses,
date rapes, and deaths. These products, obtainable over the
Internet and sometimes still sold in health food stores, are
also available at some gyms, raves, nightclubs, gay male parties,
college campuses, and the street. They are commonly mixed with
alcohol (which may cause unconsciousness), have a short duration
of action, and are not easily detectable on routine hospital
emergency room mentions increased from 55 in 1994 to 2,973 in
1999. In 1999, GHB accounted for 32 percent of illicit drug-related
poison center calls in Boston. In Chicago and San Francisco,
GHB use is reportedly low compared with MDMA, although GHB overdoses
seem frequent compared with overdoses related to other club
(gamma hydroxy butyrate) use is a growing problem on college
campuses. GHB and its analogs are used for a variety of reasons:
Partying. Raves. Date or acquaintance rape.
use of GHB on college campuses continues to be a growing problem.
Accurate information is so scarce about GHB that the majority
of college students using it have no knowledge that they are
putting their lives in danger. The information on most web sites
is so misleading regarding GHB that some college students actually
believe the myth that GHB is a safe supplement. Many male students
are attracted to its use for its reputed reputation as a muscle
enhancer, while other students may find themselves using it
as a sleep aid, especially in noisy dorms.
use of GHB for its euphoric effects continues to rise on many
campuses. GHB can easily be concealed in a college dorm room
so its use can go unknown, unlike the use of alcohol. Many universities
and colleges have had so many problems with the use of GHB on
their campuses, that they are now faced with educating their
students on this dangerous and deadly drug.
September of 1999, Glamour Magazine did a survey of over 200
female students at more than 20 colleges and universities. The
survey revealed that 19% of those asked know someone who has
been a victim of GHB.
What are "Club Drugs" and is GHB one of them?
For several years, NIDA monitoring systems have registered a
nationwide pattern of drug use centered on all-night party and
"rave" dance clubs and bars. The drugs reported in
these scenes are extremely diverse and vary among locales. Overall,
they include drugs that have long been abused, such as marijuana
and cocaine, and drugs whose abuse is a more recent development,
such as methamphetamine, ecstasy, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB),
flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), and ketamine. Some are stimulants,
some depressants, and some hallucinogens. Some are prescription
drugs that are made in licensed factories using strict quality
control, but illegally diverted for abuse. Others have no legitimate
medical uses and are produced clandestinely.
Because of this diversity, "club drugs" is an ambiguous
and flexible term. However, it clearly applies to methamphetamine,
ecstasy, GHB, and Rohypnol, which have become widespread in
the 1990s in tandem with contemporary club culture.
novelty of many club drugs is undoubtedly one reason for the
recent surge in their use. Because these drugs are relatively
new, some vulnerable individuals may imagine that taking them
is safe-that their reported adverse effects are rare or exaggerated,
and that such reactions could never affect them personally.
In contrast, few can harbor such misperceptions about older
drugs. Cocaine, for example, was widely used in dance clubs
and elsewhere in the 1980s, but its use has receded as its health
and social costs have become well known.
still have much to learn about club drugs. However, they have
already shown that these substances can cause serious and perhaps
permanent impairments and sometimes death.
additional challenge to scientists-and peril to users-is the
fact that club drugs are often taken in combination or with
other intoxicants. GHB, for example, is frequently consumed
with alcohol, which is also a depressant. A significant percentage
of those who have died with GHB have also had alcohol in their
blood. In Seattle and Miami, ecstasy is sometimes taken mixed
with LSD, psilocybin, or heroin. It is very likely that such
combinations will affect the body and brain in ways that are
more deleterious than either drug alone.
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