GBL Abuse: Information About the Party Drug That Shouldn't be Legal...But is

GBL abuse may be one of the most dangerous drug problems on the planet.

Even so, this is a substance that is completely legal to purchase. To make matters worse, it's become a popular party drug.

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What is GBL?

GBL - or gamma-Butyrolactone - is a liquid that is a common solvent, according to Wikipedia. It has multiple, practical uses, such as: being used as a flavoring, removing superglue, as a cleaning solvent, as a paint stripper, or as a rust remover.

Unfortunately, the misuse of gamma-Butyrolactone products is much too common. This is a drug that can produce a sensation of euphoria that is very similar to ecstasy. That makes it a popular substance of abuse.

If you're abusing GBL, you may think you're doing something completely harmless. After all, it's a legal substance, and you're only using it recreationally. What you may not know is that this chemical can have serious effects on you. In some cases, it may even be fatal.

Is GBL a Controlled Substance?

According to the Department of Justice, this drug has been placed on List I of the Controlled Substances Act. However, that does not mean that it's illegal. It's a drug that was identified as being used to make GHB, which is an illicit drug. Anyone who handles GBL must be registered with the DEA.

While it's good that some regulation is in place, this hasn't done much to stop the growth of this problem. It's possible to find it for sale online quite easily. It's also available on the street. If one looks hard enough, finding gamma-Butyrolactone suppliers is fairly simple. In fact, it's a substance that's even available on e-Bay or on other online retailer websites.

GBL Drug Abuse

People who abuse GBL are looking for a quick way to get high. They may or may not be familiar with GBH, which is another common drug. The effects are between the drugs are similar.

Any misuse of this substance is considered to be abuse. This is because gamma-Butyrolactone has very specific uses that don't include ingestion. Users will typically mix it with orange juice, water, or another liquid and then drink it. When it is diluted, it doesn't have much of a taste or odor.

The World Health Organization states that the potential for abusing GBL is very high. However, they state that no human studies have been conducted due to the dangerous nature of it.

The high from GBL is very similar to what is experienced when taking MDMA, or ecstasy. Online forums like Bluelight and Erowid are filled with people who typically use it. They state that it's much more bioavailable than GHB. It takes less to get high, and it acts much faster. However, the effects don't linger quite as long.

The high with GBL is intoxicating and euphoric. However, it's very easy to take too much. Doing so can have serious consequences, which can even include death.

Using this substance even once can have devastating consequences. New users can never be sure of how they will respond when taking it. They could inadvertently take too much and suffer from:

  • The shutting down of vital brain functions
  • Slower breathing, or even the cessation of breathing
  • A dangerously low blood pressure
  • A dangerously low heart rate
  • Low body temperature, even to the point of hypothermia

Respiratory depression and a slower heart rate can lead to death. Even experienced users run the risk of fatal consequences when using this substance.

Is There a Way to Take GBL Safely?

Even though this is a very dangerous chemical, there are those who insist on using it. Each time they do, they put themselves at risk. However, harm reduction techniques are available, and you need to know how to use it safely.

GBL Addiction

You can do so by following some very strict guidelines, such as:

  • Always make sure you're using it in a familiar place, with people you know.
  • Never accept any drink containing GBL from someone else, even a friend.
  • Use a pipette to measure how much you're using. This will reduce your risks.
  • Avoid using alcohol or any other drugs when using gamma-Butyrolactone.
  • Always start with a very small amount and then increase it. This applies even if you have been using it for quite some time.

Please note that this advice in no way means that we approve of using GBL. We do not. However, our goal is to ensure that those who do wish to abuse it will use extreme caution when doing so.

Can You Get Addicted to Gamma-Butyrolactone?

Yes, with repeated abuse of this drug, it is possible to form an addiction to it. Because it has gained the title of being a party drug, people tend to think they can't get addicted. However, research on GBL has shown that an addiction is possible.

Addictions to this drug form because people consistently abuse it over time. It causes increased dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. As a result, the brain stops creating these chemicals on its own. Without them, people don't feel like themselves. An addiction has occurred at that point.

Once you're a GBL addict, the only solution is to get professional treatment. Getting help gives you the best chance of successfully recovering. It also helps you avoid a relapse, which could be fatal.

It should be fairly easy for you to tell if you or a loved one has become addicted to this drug. The signs of addiction are very easy to spot. They can include:

  • Experiencing feelings of anxiety, both when you're using and when you're not
  • Going through withdrawal when you're not able to use
  • Not being able to stop using the drug successfully on your own
  • Becoming obsessed with thoughts of GBL (example: making sure you always have enough on hand)
  • Making this substance the top priority in your life

It's common for people to remain in denial, even after they suspect they have an addiction. If you're still not sure, taking an addiction quiz can help you understand your situation.

If you do think you're addicted, please get help right away. You may have not intended to become an addict at all. However, accidental addictions are quite common.

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Know This Chemical's Side Effects

Like other drugs, GBL has some serious side effects. You will begin to experience them with your very first use of this drug. If you continue to use it, its effects will become much more serious.

When taking a smaller dose of GBL, you're likely to feel very calm and relaxed. This is what most people are looking for when they use it. However, the effects will intensify when you use a stronger dose.

Continuing to use this drug will result in serious consequences, even in the short-term. It's typical for people to experience:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Confusion or brain fog
  • Muscle spasms in the body
  • Nausea and vomiting

The long-term side effects of GBL are quite serious. There is a long list of them, and they can include:

  • Significant damage to the teeth
  • Problems with the digestive system
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Bouts of amnesia
  • The risk of convulsions or seizures
  • Extremely aggressive behavior
  • Becoming unconscious or even going into a coma

There is a reason why this drug is sometimes referred to as a "Coma in a Bottle." It should never be used, even in the short-term. When people use it long-term, they are definitely putting their lives at risk.

The Dangers Associated with GBL Poisoning and Overdose

The CDC has reported several cases of poisoning from gamma-Butyrolactone. These patients consumed between 2.7 and 13 ounces of this substance. In some, it was used with alcohol or with other drugs.

The adverse events that were reported included:

  • Becoming unconscious
  • Developing seizures
  • Problems with coordination
  • Quickly alternating between being calm and becoming highly aggressive
  • Extremely low pulse rates
  • Severe respiratory depression
  • Involuntary muscle movements
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Cardiac arrest

Overdosing on GBL can have similar effects on the body. Typically, people overdose because they try to stop using it, and then relapse. However, this isn't always the case. It is possible to inadvertently consume too much of it in one sitting. If this is the case, an overdose is the result.

Both overdosing on this drug and being poisoned by it can be fatal. This is something to keep in mind if you're a current user or addict.

Gamma-Butyrolactone Information You May Not Have Known

There is so much about gamma-Butyrolactone that you probably didn't know.

For instance, were you aware that:

  • Many people actually make this substance in their homes?
  • There are GBL recipes readily available online?
  • It is commonly used by body builders because it helps to build muscle?
  • Whether in powdered or liquid form, gamma-Butyrolactone can lead to serious liver or kidney damage?
  • This substance is being studied for medicinal purposes, and is considered a supplement in some parts of the world?

What to do if You're Addicted

If you have a GBL addiction, the worst thing you could do is try to recover on your own. You will go through withdrawals, and they can eventually lead you to a deadly relapse. You may be able to find many home remedies online that all promise to assist you. However, this is something that is better left to professionals who understand the addiction.

What to Expect with Gamma-Butyrolactone Treatment and Detox

Professional GBL treatment is necessary for addicts to successfully recover, given the dangerous nature of this drug. Depending on the nature of your addiction, you may need to go through a detoxification treatment first.

Drug detox is a process that helps your body go through withdrawal. It works by controlling your symptoms and helping to make your recovery more comfortable.

It's actually assisting with the physical part of the addiction, which can be very strong. You may be given medications to help with your symptoms. However, it is possible for secondary addictions to occur with this method.

Many experts believe that holistic detox might be more beneficial. This process involves dietary changes, physical exercise and other methods to remove toxins from the drug. The right option will be discussed with you prior to treatment.

GBL Treatment Offers Hope for Addiction

Right now, you may be feeling scared. You may not have known about the dangers associated with this substance. It's possible that you've been using it for quite some time, and you thought it was all in good fun. If that's how you feel, you need to know you're not alone. GBL has a way of taking hold of your life very quickly.

The good news is that help is available for you to recover, and we can assist you at Ashwood Recovery. We understand the fear you might be experiencing. We know it's hard to admit you have an addiction that needs to be treated. Now that you know the truth about how dangerous this drug can be, please know that there is hope. You don't have to remain in the active addiction. Also, many of the drug's negative side effects can be reversed if you act quickly enough.

How can we assist you with getting more information about GBL or treatment? Please contact us right away and let us know.

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