Destroying Lives: The Dangers of GHB

“(GHB) is the most addictive drug I’ve ever seen. People are desperate to get off of it because it’s destroying their lives.”

~ Dr. Stephen W. Smith

Some people say obtaining GHB is as easy as “ordering a pizza”. And although it’s highly illegal, the drug is sold openly on the Internet online, often falsely labeled as “fish tank cleaner”, “stain remover”,  or some other harmless-sounding product.

Like other synthetic “party” drugs, GHB occupies a very specific niche among substances of abuse. Even though it is not as commonly-used as some other illicit drugs, there is nonetheless a growing core of abusers who use it as part of the rave culture.

 Club/Party drugs are abused by people who frequently attend parties, nightclubs, discos, and raves. They produce stimulant, aphrodisiacal, and hallucinogenic effects that enhance the club experience.

GHB – What You Need to Know about this “Social” Drug

Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid”, or GHB, has a legitimate medical use as a treatment for narcolepsy. This is part of the reason why it is so popular among partygoers, because in small recreation doses, it is a stimulant that allows users to stay awake, party longer, and drink more. However, at higher doses, it paradoxically acts as a depressant.

Reported effects include:

  • A euphoric high
  • Greater sociability
  • Increased affection
  • Enhanced sexual pleasure
  • Deepened music appreciation

GHB’s effects are felt in less than 30 minutes, and last up to 6 hours. While pills can cost $25 apiece, single swigs of the liquid can be purchased for as little as $5.

GHB—Street Names

The most-frequently-heard names for GHB or  “Liquid Ecstasy” or “Liquid X”, but other names include:

  • Goop
  • Lollipop
  • Easy Lay
  • Georgia Home Boy
  • Grievous Bodily Harm

GHB and Date Rape

GHB is usually sold as a colorless, odorless and nearly tasteless liquid that can be mixed with soft drinks or cocktails. This is very frequently without the recipient’s knowledge, leading to:

  • Extreme suggestibility, passivity, and compliance
  • Amnesia
  • Increased sexual arousal

This dangerous combination leaves victims vulnerable to sexual assault or violence.

Adverse Side Effects and Hazards of GHB

GHB has negative side effects ranging from merely unpleasant to downright dangerous to even potentially deadly:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Incontinence
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache
  • Profuse sweating
  • Uncontrollable tremors
  • Unintelligible or slurred speech
  • Respiratory depression
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Organ damage, especially to the liver and kidneys
  • Coma
  • Death

GHB is often “homemade” in illicit, unsafe makeshift labs. These crude batches can vary wildly in terms of purity, potency, and even formulation. Some GHB “recipes” use dangerous chemicals such as drain cleaner or floor stripper. In recent years, it has been linked to multiple deaths in Orange County.

How Addictive is GHB?

The addictive quality of drugs can be measured by the severity of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be harshly unpleasant:

  • Extreme agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Profuse perspiration
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Delirium

The painful symptoms of GHB withdrawal make it unlikely that an addict will be able to stop using completely on their own. Professional help is nearly always needed—intervention, detox, medication, and ongoing treatment.

If you live in Southern California and you want to stop using GHB and other club drugs, Chapman House Treatment Centers is the resource you need. Since 1978, Chapman house has been one of the most-trusted drug rehabs in Orange County, and we can help you successfully and safely regain your sobriety.

If you are ready to get help NOW, contact Chapman House TODAY.

by Albert Fontenot