What is GHB or γ-Hydroxybutyric acid?

By Jennifer McDougall

GHB, short for γ-Hydroxybutyric acid, is another drug wreaking havoc on today’s club kids. It is popular among teens, young adults, and those in the bodybuilding community (used to increase muscle growth and athletic performance). So what exactly is it?

GHB, otherwise known as “G,” was synthesized in France over 50 years ago and originally used as an anesthetic, but many rejected it due to its unwanted side effects. It was reintroduced in the medical community in 1987 and used in research studies to determine whether or not it could help patients with severe pain, sleep disorders, and to help with weight loss. Some have reported to use it as an anti-aging component.  Bodybuilders have been told that this drug would help to increase muscle size.

Some physicians prescribing this drug are not telling their patients that it is extremely easy to overdose on GHB when mixed with alcohol or any other chemically induced substance such as cocaine and ecstasy. Even though some confuse this drug with being related to high because of its other name, “Liquid X,” there is no relation; “G” is an entirely different drug.

It grew popular in the early ’90s in North America among the club scene, and regardless of many overdoses, the drug “G” was approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat narcolepsy under the name of “Xyrem.”

GHB is a powerful nervous system depressant and psychoactive drug and has been said to be one of the most dangerous drugs in the country. One very alarming thought about “G” is that many young adults believe they can use “G” responsibly. This is entirely untrue.

The average measurement is in the amount which fills a water bottle cap, or one teaspoon is taken orally. It may be transparent or blue, and it has a salty taste. “G” is used to relax and calm a person’s mind, but it can cause a lot of anxiety, sweating, blurry vision, and even result in sudden unconsciousness, a coma, and in many cases, death. Many club-goers use it as a “pregame” drug either before they get to the club or while partying to increase the euphoria of other substances, such as cocaine, alcohol, and ecstasy, which can be instantly deadly. “G” stays in the body for about 12 hours, and feelings of euphoria may last up to 48 hours.

When mixed with alcohol and any other substance, “G” becomes one of the deadliest drugs. Many reports have shown cases of women dying yearly from “G” being poured into their drinks at a bar or nightclub and used as a date rape drug. Therefore, it is essential for both men and women to be extremely careful and consciously aware of their surroundings. It does not take much for someone to slip up alongside you and pour something hazardous into any beverage while looking the other way.

A person who consumes even just one water bottle cap size of “G” is expected to experience numbness all over their body, time-lapse,  a disengagement in intellect, difficulty speaking, shallow breathing, delusion, slow heart rate, amnesia, and potentially overdose or death. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 to use as a treatment for narcolepsy (sleeping disorder) and is addictive.

There is not much information about “G,” and many people are unaware of the severe dangers that just a tiny amount of this liquid can cause.  Below you’ll find additional information that can help save a life or help someone in need.

How to avoid being “drugged”:   

  • Never accept a drink from a stranger.
  • Never leave a drink unattended.
  • If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  • Stay consciously aware of your surroundings.

Signs you have been drugged:

  • You feel more intoxicated than you should.
  • You feel intoxicated when you haven’t been drinking alcohol.
  • You suddenly become very sleepy and light-headed.
  • You experience a significant loss of coordination.
  • You wake up feeling fuzzy and can’t recall any events of the night before.
  • You believe sexual contact occurred, but you cannot remember details of the incident.

What to do if you suspect you’ve just been dosed:

  • First, get to a safe place as quickly as possible.
  • Second, call a friend, family member, or even the police for help.
  • Third, seek medical assistance and describe the symptoms and what you remember.

Street names used for “G” or GHB:

  • Liquid X
  • Vita-G
  • Liquid Ecstasy
  • Cherry Meth
  • Fantasy
  • Liquid E
  • Blue Nitro
  • Georgia Home Boy
  • Juice

Short-term effects:

  • Intense relaxation
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Decrease in heart rate and body temperature
  • An increase in confidence
  • Memory impairment

Effects when consumption is increased:

  • Disorientation
  • Significant impairment to speech and bodily function
  • Convulsions
  • Stiff muscles
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Possible overdose
  • Possible death

Common Side Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Amnesia
  • Depression
  • Vertigo

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling drug and alcohol addiction. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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