The Myth That GHB Is a “Safe” High

The Myth That GHB Is a “Safe” High

Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a neurotransmitter-like chemical naturally found in the brain that can also be synthetically produced in pharmaceutical laboratories. It works by slowing down the body’s central nervous system, and its effects are usually felt within minutes. Up until 1990, GHB was readily available for purchase in health food stores and was primarily bought by bodybuilders seeking to increase their muscle mass.

The Effects of GHB

While doctors in the United States are legally allowed to prescribe GHB for symptoms of narcolepsy, GHB has also become a popular recreational drug often used at clubs, bars and raves. Its users are drawn to its fast-acting effects which typically include enhanced sex drive and an intensely pleasurable high.

However, GHB can paralyze those who use it, preventing them from any self-defense. It can also cause a number of negative side effects including:

  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Amnesia
  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Serious breathing problems
  • Delusional thinking
  • Hallucinations
  • Coma
  • Death

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, GHB is colorless and odorless, and certain forms of the drug are tasteless. The drug is also commonly known to produce both unconsciousness and amnesia in those who ingest it. Because of these characteristics, and the fact that it’s easy to slip into a drink, GHB is often referred to as a “club” drug or “date rape” drug.

No “Safe” High

A recent trend involves people abusing GHB under the impression that it’s a “safe” high. One of the main draws to GHB is its quick recovery time compared to that of other substances such as ecstasy, alcohol and cocaine usually requiring at least a day of recovery.

However, there’s no such thing as a “safe” high. Because the drug’s true effects are largely unpredictable, those who ingest GHB are at risk of consuming amounts that can cause them to become incapacitated and experience serious or fatal health complications. No matter how GHB is taken or in what amount, there’s always a chance that negative side effects can occur.

The use of any drug is dangerous and can cause significant damage to those who use it and to others around them. Proper treatment and support can help people struggling with substance abuse get on the road to recovery and live a healthy life free of drugs.

By Jenna Mitchell

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