GHB, also known as Gamma Hydroxybutyric, is a psychoactive medication that is sometimes used to treat depression, narcolepsy, insomnia, and even alcoholism. It is a colorless and odorless drug that is becoming popular in the nightlife scene. It can typically be found at raves, parties and, clubs, and concerts and is usually abused for the depressive effects it has on the user. GHB abuse has also been identified in bodybuilder demographics due to the fact that it elevates the amount of human growth hormones secreted in the body. There are several street names that GHB is commonly known by, such as liquid x, lollipops, firewater, soap, and goops. If you or someone you know is abusing GHB, it isn’t too late to seek treatment at All About Recovery. Our facility offers excellent programs such as Sober Living, Addiction Therapy, and Outpatient Care.
How is GHB Taken?
There are two types of GHB found on the streets. The first kind is a liquid substance that users have been known to drink. The second kind is a powdery, salt-like substance that can easily be mixing in a drink or taken orally. This drug is typically bought on the streets; however, recently it has been sold over the internet on the black market. GHB is often made by mixing GBL and alkali hydroxide, two chemicals which can be found at department stores in paint strippers and lye. The substances that are used to process the drug are extremely harmful to the human body. Due to the effects of the drug, individuals will sometimes use this drug to intoxicate and rape unsuspecting victims. It should be noted that drinks which contain GHB will have a soapy or salty taste to them. Individuals should not leave their drink unattended and if they notice that it has an odd flavor to it, they should throw it out.
The Effects of GHB Abuse
GHB was first created in the 1960’s as an anesthetic for patients undergoing surgical operations. It was used because of its ability to induce reversible comas in patients. Furthermore, GHB is an intoxicant, which means that the effects of the drug are very similar to those of alcohol. Only recently has GHB has become popular and it is abused for the euphoric high it produces in users who take high doses of the drug. Adverse effects are highly variable with GHB abuse and many individuals experience different symptoms, however, taking too much of this drug can certainly cause someone to spiral into a coma. Additionally, substance abusers can overdose on GHB die if they take too much.
GHB abuse can lead to several negative health effects, such as:
- Impulsive and erratic behavior
- Slurred speech
- Amnesia or memory loss
- Loss of consciousness
- Lack of Motor Control
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased or decreased blood pressure
Psychological Dependency to GHB
Some substance abusers may not necessarily develop a physical dependency to GHB, however, these individuals can have a psychological dependency to the effects of the drug. For these individuals, detox treatment and medication are not necessary because GHB has a short half-life, meaning the drug quickly dissolves in the human body. However, these patients will need to undergo several addiction therapy sessions to understand the underlying aspects of their addictive personalities. Without treatment, these individuals could relapse and possibly die from an overdose.
Physical/Chemical Dependency to GHB
Chronic use of GHB can lead to a physical dependency to the drug. For individuals who abruptly stop taking the drug, they will start to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. The drug rapidly dissolves and disappears from the system, so the individual’s body will go into shock if they cease to take it. Sadly, research for GHB chemical dependency is still underway due to the fact that addiction is very rare, so much is still unknown about the condition. Patients may need anticonvulsant and antihypertensive medication during their recovery to withstand the symptoms that arise. Individuals will have to be hospitalized or undergo medical supervision for 1-2 weeks until the withdrawal symptoms cease. Sadly, several individuals have reported memory loss or amnesia during this period in treatment. This is due to the lasting effects of the drug and if these symptoms occur, it could complicate treatment.
However, there are several variable side effects that can arise and the following symptoms are the most documented:
- Inability to concentrate
If these symptoms persist untreated, the patient could die from the withdrawal symptoms.
Recovery from GHB Abuse
Individuals who find themselves either chemically or psychologically addicted to GHB can seek necessary treatment at All About Recovery. Our recovery center provides several powerful approaches to treatment, such as group therapy. We also provide dance, art and music therapy for individuals interested in trying this approach. For more information, please call us at 888-712-8480.