GHB (gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid)

Club drugs tend to be used by young adults and teenagers at nightclubs, bars, parties, and concerts and include GHB, LSD, ketamine, MDMA, methamphetamine, and Rohypnol.

GHB (gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid)

Other Names:

liquid ecstasy, lollipops, and Georgia home boy, date rape drug, and a number of different street names

How Does It Affect Your System?

GHB (gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid) is a metabolite that acts as a central nervous system depressant and is chemically similar to the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid. Thus, GHB is a central nervous system depressant. It has some clinical uses as a potential anesthetic, in the treatment of insomnia and narcolepsy, in the treatment of alcoholism, and may have utility as a potential adjunctive treatment for clinical depression. The drug is also used as a recreational drug due to its abilities to produce euphoria and its reputation as an aphrodisiac.

What Are The Symptoms & Risk

Detoxing Symptoms (Withdrawl)

Despite a number of online reports stating that GHB is safe to use, there is a documented withdrawal syndrome associated with discontinuing GHB. The withdrawal process is similar to a combination of alcohol withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal that appears to occur in three discrete stages:

Early acute withdrawal symptoms occur 1-24 hours after discontinuation of heavy use. These can include:

Marked insomnia and severe intermittent tachycardia
Moderate nausea, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, delirium, and/or confusion
Mild symptoms of tremors, hypertension, and sweating

Over the next 1-6 days, there is progressive change in symptoms that indicates a peak in most of the withdrawal symptoms, including:

Severe anxiety, restlessness, confusion, delirium, hypertension, insomnia, and the potential for hallucinations
Moderate levels of sweating, tremors, and hypertension
Mild issues with nausea and vomiting

Finally, a period of extended episodic symptoms that begin after about one week following discontinuation and last for an additional week. Symptoms include:
Intermittent episodes of severe delirium
Intermittent episodes of moderate anxiety, insomnia, confusion, tachycardia, and hallucinations
Mild tremors, sweating, nausea, and vomiting

Detoxing Safely

The potential for seizures is also documented at any stage in the withdrawal process. Seizures can be potentially fatal, and individuals experiencing these should get immediate medical attention.

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