Otherwise known as Liquid E, Fantasy, Gamma-OH, even GBH. GHB stands for Gamma-Hydroxy Butyrate, Sodium Oxybate
Before you read further please note that this seemingly harmless fluid is very dangerous when mixed with alcohol !!!
What is GHB?
Gamma hydroxy butyrate or Gamma hydroxybutyric acid, Sodium Oxybate GHB 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. Your 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. Colourless, odourless, 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.
Effects of GHB
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 the dosage.
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.
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. “GHB 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 metabolised by the user’s body.
The effects of withdrawal from GHB are: insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating.
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.
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.
Extent of GHB abuse
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 toxicology screens. GHB emergency room mentions in the U.S.A. increased from 55 in 1994 to 2,973 in 1999. In 1999, GHB accounted for 32 percent of illicit drug-related poison centre 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 drugs. GHB (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. The 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. The 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. In 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.
“Club Drugs” and GHB
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 in the U.S.A. Europe, U.K. and S.A.. The 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 harbour 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.
Scientists 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. An 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.
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