What is GHB?
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a natural-occurring chemical found in the brain that serves as a central nervous system depressant. It is also manufactured synthetically for its feel-good properties as a recreational drug and prescribed for a few legitimate medical purposes. GHB is a highly addictive and dangerous, volatile substance that should be avoided unless prescribed by a doctor in extreme cases.
When sold on the streets, GHB is a clear, odorless, tasteless liquid considered by many to be a necessary ingredient for a proper night of partying. Sometimes, it is sold as a white powder that is dissolved in liquid like soda, juice, or alcoholic beverages. GHB is not only known its euphoric effects, it also has a sinister reputation as an insidious date rape drug.
GHB, known as “the poor man’s heroin,” looks just like water and is usually sold by the capful for about five dollars at bars, clubs, raves, and house parties. An entire small water bottle of the stuff is sold for anywhere from one hundred to five hundred dollars, depending geographic location. Just one cap-sized dose of GHB produces a very powerful high that can last up to five hours.
Popular Slang Names For GHB
If you are a parent, it is important to know the slang names teens and college students use for drugs. For obvious reasons, young people want to keep their drug use secret from their concerned parents and the parents of friends and associates. To continue buying and selling drugs, teens and college-aged kids use code when talking about drug activity so that adults won’t bring the hammer down and try to put a stop to the so-called party.
Here are the most common street names kids use when talking about GHB:
- Georgia Home Boy
- Grievous Bodily Harm
- Liquid X
- Liquid G
- Liquid Ecstasy
- Easy Lay
- Salty Water
- Poor man’s heroin
It is important to recognize that kids in different geographic locations use different slang names when referring to GHB. Pay attention to what your teens or college students are saying to one another in person and online. If they are using suspicious language that you don’t recognize, do some research to see if the words they are using are actually code for drug activity.
GHB – A Brief History
In the 1960’s, GHB was explored by medical professionals in the United States for its anesthetic properties, although doctors quickly discarded it as largely ineffective due to the side effects. In the 1970’s, Gamma-hydroxybutyrate was recommended for the treatment of narcolepsy. Xyrem – a legal form of GHB that does not produce euphoria – is still used today for the purpose of treating those with this sleep disorder and is available with a doctor’s prescription. It is also prescribed for treating cataplexy.
GHB became quite popular in the 1980’s among athletes and bodybuilders who used it as a fat burner and performance enhancer. However; the FDA ultimately banned the substance in 1990 for over-the-counter use after more than 30 GHB-related deaths were reported. Nevertheless, many still purchase the drug illegally because they swear by the positive effects G can have on the physical body.
Today, Liquid G is produced synthetically in illegal street labs around the world and distributed on the black market. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), “GHB is a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.” This means the federal government considers Liquid G to be as dangerous as street heroin.
Generally, those who want to purchase this drug have one of three interests for doing so – (1) they want to use it as a performance enhancer in the gym (2) they want to use the drug for its euphoric effects (3) they want to commit date rape against some unsuspecting victim.
Liquid G Is Lurking In The Shadows of Gyms and Athletic Arenas
Most people are shocked to learn that Liquid G is very popular among athletes, body builders, and sports junkies. Many wrestlers, baseball and football players, weight-lifters, swimmers, skaters, and every other kind of athlete turn to GHB as a so-called wonder drug. There is an entire unground market dedicated to selling G to athletes.
In many circles, GHB has taken the place of anabolic steroids as the number one choice for performance-enhancing drugs. This is because, in higher doses, the drug decreases appetite and encourages the production of hormones that build muscle mass. Even though the FDA has banned GHB the purpose of performance enhancement, many still take the drug illegally.
GHB – A Favorite Pastime Among Clubbers, Rave-Goers, and Party Animals
GHB is a highly sought substance for those who say they love to have a good time. The drug has become widely popular at clubs, raves, and parties on college campuses across the United States and around the world. It is especially popular among the eighteen to twenty-five-year-old age group. Those who partake of the drug say it creates an incredible high and promises hours of pleasure and euphoria for less than twenty bucks.
“I love me some GHB,” said Lexie S., a 22-year-old UCLA economics major who asked us not to share her last name. “I have never felt anything like it. I use it just about every weekend when me and my friends go bar-hopping. It’s easy to get and it’s super cheap. I know people say it is dangerous, but that’s because they’ve never done it and they don’t know what they are talking about. It’s beautiful. Besides, I am in college and I am supposed to be having fun. It’s just a phase – and I am enjoying myself.”
Lexie’s sentiments reflect the general attitude of those who use GHB – one of minimal concern, in spite of the fact that this hazardous drug is having a profoundly negative impact on young people across America. This misguided perception of GHB is problematic, to say the least. This is a highly toxic, dangerous and addictive drug.
Georgia Home Boy Helps Sexual Predators Commit Date Rape
According to Health Research Funding, women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four are four times more likely to be exposed to GHB (without their consent) than any other age group. This is because GHB is a popular date rape drug – especially on college campuses in the United States.
GHB acts as a powerful sedative that can cause a person to lose consciousness and become vulnerable to sexual assault. It also causes memory loss and blackouts. This means when a person takes too much GHB, they can lose entire chunks of time and not remember anything that happened while they were high on the stuff. This is why G is so effective when used as a date rape drug. Perpetrators will pour Liquid G into a victim’s drink without their knowledge and violate them while they are passed out.
There have been tens of thousands of cases reported (and an unknown number of unreported cases) of date rape incidents that were caused by GHB. Sadly, victims don’t remember much of what happened the next day, or they only remember bits and pieces of the assault. This makes it difficult for prosecutors to hold sexual predators accountable and get justice for victims.
How Do People Use Liquid G?
G is usually sold as a liquid, although it is often distributed as a white crystalline powder that resembles cocaine. It is diluted in a beverage and swallowed. This drug should not be snorted or injected. It should only be taken orally.
One dose of GHB usually takes effect about twenty minutes after someone takes it and it lasts about three to five hours. During a rave or party, users will typically take several doses of drug throughout the night to “keep their buzz alive.” Most people who use it stay up for twenty-four hours or more. When the drug wears off, they crash and sleep the entire next day to avoid the depressive state known as “the comedown.”
What Is GHB Made Of?
Like crystal meth, GHB is relatively easy to make and it is manufactured in street labs by people who have almost no knowledge of chemical compounds. G is produced by combining common household products like cleaning agents, paint strippers, superglue remover, rust removers, and all manner of harsh, toxic chemicals. Terrifyingly, frighteningly dangerous junk – THAT is what G is made of.
Manufacturing GHB is big business. While the average dose of Liquid G sells for only five bucks a pop, an investment of about $800 in supplies can turn a profit of about $100,000. Unbelievable.
What Are The Potential Risks and Side Effects of G?
When someone takes GHB, they are looking for these reported “feel-good” effects:
- Feelings of pleasure and increased happiness
- A trance-like state
- Total relaxation
- Lowered inhibitions
- An experience of “love” and affection for other human beings
- Increased sex drive
However, those who take the drug can experience these negative side effects, which can be life-threatening:
- Migraine headaches
- Dizziness and fainting spells
- Total mental confusion
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Agitation and hostility
- Numbing of the hands and legs
- Loss of consciousness
- The inability to move
- Memory loss
- Breathing and heart problems
- Loss of muscle control
- Profuse sweating
- Respiratory failure
- Lowered or elevated blood pressure
- Sudden death
GHB – Yes, It’s Really That Dangerous
Earlier in this article, we introduced you to Lexie – a young college student who uses GHB on a regular basis. She talked about the innocent fun she thinks she is having when she takes this powerful and dangerous drug. What Lexie (and others like her) fail to realize is that Liquid G is responsible for more than 16,000 deaths in the United States in the past fifteen years. For these unfortunate souls, what started out as a night of “innocent” fun quickly became a nightmare because of a deadly GHB overdose.
GHB IS Addictive And Produces Withdrawal Symptoms
GHB is a highly addictive substance that produces some nasty withdrawal symptoms for those who stop taking the drug abruptly. Unlike most drugs, which require prolonged use in order for withdrawal symptoms to manifest, someone only has to take GHB for a short time in order to experience a detox period if they stop using the stuff. This is because the drug has such a powerful effect on the brain and body.
If you take GHB to have a good time, withdrawal can set in about eight hours after the last use. You can expect the following withdrawal symptoms to haunt you for up to three weeks if you abuse GHB:
- Physical cravings for more GHB
- Mental disorientation
How much GHB you have been using (and how long you have been using it) will determine the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Long-term use of G may lead to symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization. Although rare, you can die from GHB withdrawal.
If You Have An Addiction To GHB, Help is Available
Addiction never gets better with time – it only gets worse. It destroys the lives of individuals and families, wreaks havoc on finances, causes legal problems, annihilates the physical body, and causes premature death. Nothing good ever comes from addiction.
If you have a problem with GHB and you want find hope and healing, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation with one of our addiction experts. We promise to help you take the first step on the road toward recovery.