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GHB Drug

GHB Drug Abuse, Effects, Symptoms, Withdrawal & Treatment

What is GHB Drug?

GHB or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (C4H8O3) is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that is commonly referred to as a “club drug” or “date rape” drug. GHB is abused by young adults at bars, parties, clubs, and “raves” (all-night dance parties) and is often placed in alcoholic beverages. Euphoria increased sex drive and tranquility is reported positive effects of GHB abuse. It can produce effects ranging from euphoria (at low doses) to blackouts and amnesia.

The chemical compound became famous as a surgical anesthetic in the 1960s, then gained notoriety as a party drug and fat burner in the 1980s. The body produces small amounts of GHB naturally in the brain. Some meats, beer, and wine also contain GHB; the average liter of wine holds between 4 mg and 21 mg of GHB. Conversely, illicit GHB confiscated from clubs, and street sales commonly have between 500 mg and 3,000 mg of GHB.

Street Names For GHB Drug Slang Include [1]:

  • Gamma Oh
  • Georgia Home Boy
  • Great Hormones At Bedtime
  • Grievous Bodily Harm
  • Growth Hormone Booster

  • Liquid Ecstasy
  • Liquid X
  • Salty Water
  • Sleep
  • Vita G

The variation of the GHB drug name illustrates the popularity of the various GHB drug names sold illicitly.

A Xyrem is a medication with GHB used to treat narcolepsy, it is strictly regulated as a Schedule III substance and not available in regular retail pharmacies. On the other hand, Illicit GHB is created by street drug manufacturers and frequently sold on the internet as a Hallucinogen. It can be found as a colorless, odorless liquid or a white powder that may have a soapy or salty taste.

Most people have heard of GHB because of its popularity in the club and electronic music scenes. Some report using the drug for its alcohol-like effects, which occur without the associated loss of body control, slurred speech, or hangover. Gym-goers have also reportedly used the drug to burn fat and build muscles. However, sexual predators have also used the GHB drug as a date rape drug by pouring the nearly undetectable substance into an unsuspecting victim’s drink. The amount used by these criminals is usually enough to make the victim lose consciousness, leave them unable to defend themselves, and cause them to forget the details of what happened the next day.

Signs Of GHB Abuse

GHB is a prescribed and tightly controlled medicine to treat narcolepsy or another illness but can be abused like any other illicit drug. GHB’s long-term effects can be lethal, but before that, there are some signs to identify someone who is abusing GHB drugs.

Taking more than prescribed or using dishonest prescriptions to get access to GHB, when isn’t needed is also considered drug abuse of GHB.

Effects Of GHB Drug Abuse

Though many people describe the feelings caused by low GHB doses as euphoric and energetic, even small doses can cause loss of consciousness, hallucinations, amnesia, and coma. Because most of the GHB consumed in the US is manufactured illegally, it’s impossible to know the concentration of GHB in each dose without testing it in a lab. Furthermore, the difference between a low dose of GHB and a potentially lethal dose of GHB can be relatively small.

GHB drug can have an addictive potential if used repeatedly.
What is GHB drugs? GHB medication is employed to treat narcolepsy, an ailment that causes intense daytime drowsiness.
The GHB drug can have an addictive potential if used repeatedly.

Side Effects Of GHB Drug Abuse

  • Amnesia
  • Clumsiness
  • Confusion
  • Exhaustion
  • Euphoria
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Lower Body Temperature
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sluggishness
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Some of GHB’s effects may feel similar to those of Stimulants at low doses, but GHB is a Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressant. As such, overdose typically involves respiratory depression. When a person overdoses on GHB, often onlookers mistakenly believe the person is sleeping while the individual is asphyxiating.

The Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol with GHB Drug

GHB is dangerous enough on its own but can quickly become fatal if mixed with other Depressants, including alcohol, Benzodiazepines, Opioids, and Barbiturates. When these substances are taken together, functions the CNS is responsible for (such as breathing and heart rate) are slowed to the point that they may stop altogether.

The combination of GHB drug and alcohol is dangerous because both substances slow down the primary body functions such as breathing and heart rate.
The combination of GHB drug and alcohol is dangerous because both substances slow down the primary body functions such as breathing and heart rate.

There are signs of being on the lookout for if you think someone is under the effects of GHB and other substances. Alcohol and GHB drugs can make someone feel sick, leading to nausea and vomiting. In addition, they may act uncharacteristically sluggish or confused. If they are hallucinating, they may not be able to respond appropriately or even walk. If the individual passes out, or if their breathing becomes erratic, seek immediate medical attention.

How Addictive is GHB?

GHB is among popular bodybuilders, this demographic group abuse od GHB because this substance has been demonstrated to elevate human growth hormones; party people between 18 – 22 years old are very influenced by the party scene to take this kind of psychoactive drug. However small doses apparently act more like a stimulant or aphrodisiac, but that is the tricky part with GHB abuse, the majority of users are young people who can be involved easily in GHB abuse, combining this drug with alcohol and do not realize how addictive GHN could be.

Overdose Symptoms From GHB Drugg Abuse

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures 
  • Reduced Breathing and Heart Rate
  • Amnesia
  • Loss Of Consciousness
  • Coma 
  • Death

GHB Withdrawal

When a person stops taking GHB drugs, they may experience withdrawal symptoms — especially if their body has become dependent on the drug to feel normal. Usually, symptoms of GHB withdrawal involve feelings of anxiety, insomnia, shaking, sweating, increased heart rate, and psychotic thoughts. Sometimes, these symptoms are severe and require medical supervision and addiction treatment inside of a detox facility or rehab center for a period of 7 to 14 days.

There are no proven addiction treatment medications for a GHB drug addiction. For some, you may be prescribed controlled doses of benzodiazepines, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants during treatment. However, recovery professionals recommend facing a GHB addiction with a long-term treatment plan that promotes positive decision-making, improvements to overall health, and learning coping skills.

GHB Withdrawal Timeline

  • 1 – 2 days: The first GHB withdrawal symptoms to appear are typically anxiety, insomnia, tremors and episodes of racing heartbeat.
  • 3 – 4 days: Sweating and blood pressure spikes are common for the first couple of days
  • 1 – 5 days: Hallucinations and confusion are typical, and the person may become violent and completely lose touch with reality.
  • Usually GHB withidrawal syndrome could last no longer than 15 days, and its symptons can continue to occur during these period of time.

Treatment Option For GHB Drug Abuse

Little information is available on treatment options for persons addicted to any club drug, including GHB. Some users of GHB are not physically dependent upon it and can be treated and informed on an outpatient basis. However, chronic use may result in severe withdrawal symptoms upon detoxification, and close medical supervision and supportive care are required for these clients. Hospitalization may range from 7 to 14 days.

Withdrawal effects are reported as severe, and clients may attempt to self-detoxify using benzodiazepines or alcohol. However, using these additional substances may worsen withdrawal and lead to respiratory depression, coma, and death. Therefore, it may need benzodiazepines, antihypertensive medications, and anticonvulsants during detoxification, but only under medical supervision.

Formal detox removes the element of needless suffering and minimizes the potential risks of GHB drug withdrawal.
Formal medical detox can help reduce needless harsh withdrawal suffering while minimizing the risks of GHB drug withdrawal.

If you or someone you know has a GHB addiction, contact a treatment provider today. GHB drug abuse is dangerous and may result in users harming themselves and injuring others as well. The We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. In addition, we work as an integrated team providing information and treatment options for GHB drug abuse. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our GHB treatment specialists. Our professionals know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Commonly Abused Drugs Charts. Retrieved on April 10, 2019, from

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