The use of GHB is associated with sex parties, rape and overdoses. The drug is notorious within the mainstream for the fact that it can easily be put into a drink in order to intoxicate someone. The drug is therefore referred to as the "date rape drug”.
What is GHB and where does it come from? What are the dangers and risks? And does it also have positive effects? Read all about it in this encyclopedia from Sirius.
What is GHB?
The scientific name for GHB is gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. It is a narcotic drug, the effect of which is sometimes compared to that of alcohol. In low doses it gives a pleasant and peaceful feeling, whereby inhibitions and fears fall away. In high doses there is a chance of 'going out'. This means that a user enters a strong intoxication and can become unconscious. Since the drug is difficult to dose, the chance of an overdose soon becomes real.
GHB is a substance that occurs naturally in the human body. It acts as a neurotransmitter and has an attenuating effect. Neurotransmitters are substances in the body and help in signal transmission in the brain.
Furthermore, GHB can be found in certain foods including wine, steak, certain citrus fruits and in almost all animal species.
GHB as a sleep medication
In the 1960s, a French scientist succeeded in replicating GHB. It was then marketed as a sleep aid.
Today, GHB exists as a medication under the name Xyrem. It is available by prescription and is used to treat several conditions including cataplexy and patients suffering from narcolepsy and daytime sleepiness.
Furthermore, it has also been used for some time as a pain reliever and to treat conditions including insomnia. It was also used for some time to treat clinical depression. It was even used for some time as a means of treating alcoholism. For a time it was also a popular drug among bodybuilders because GHB has a stimulating effect on growth hormones.
GHB is used as a recreational drug. It is a popular party drug because it loosens people up. In terms of effects, it is similar to alcohol. However, GHB is a prohibited hard drug, whereas alcohol is available on every street corner. GHB is difficult to dose, so the chance of an overdose is much higher.
The drug is translucent in color and has a salty taste.
As mentioned earlier, GHB occurs naturally in our bodies. Therefore, the substance is "familiar" and the body easily absorbs the substance. When a user takes GHB as a recreational drug, the body processes the drug quickly. Within 2 to 4 hours the drug has left the body.
From this point of view, GHB is a fairly harmless drug, which in normal doses does not easily create dangers.
The dangers of the drug lie mainly in the fact that it is often combined with other drugs, including alcohol. When users combine different drugs, the likelihood of dangerous side effects increases. One report shows that the number of deaths caused by GHB is largely due to its combination with alcohol and other drugs. This caused, for example, respiratory problems. This can cause dangerous interactions. Furthermore, there is a good chance that a user misjudges the dosage and takes too much.
Finally, GHB is a popular drug during nightlife and is used by rapists to intoxicate partygoers.
Physical effects of GHB
- Stimulating and relaxing: in low doses GHB has a stimulating effect. Users get a desire to move and dance. In high doses, however, it has a sedative effect and users become very relaxed and lethargic. The likelihood of falling asleep becomes high.
- Respiratory problems: GHB is associated with respiratory problems. This occurs mainly in overdoses. The user has difficulty breathing or has irregular breathing. Typically, one breathes deeper and deeper, sometimes faster, and a sudden stop may occur where the user temporarily stops breathing completely.
- Convulsions: very high doses of GHB may result in convulsions.
- Muscle relaxation: as is the case with benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) and alcohol, GHB use causes a strong relaxation in the muscles. This relaxation can be dangerous because a user has reduced motor skills and therefore loses control more quickly.
- Dizziness: a common effect of GHB is the feeling of dizziness, which can occur as early as normal or even light doses. A user may suddenly feel weak and have the feeling of fainting. There may be a strong tendency to lie down on the floor.
- Cramps: GHB is known to induce cramps, both in the muscles and in the stomach.
- Sleepy and alert: very small doses of GHB usually make a user feel sleepy. Normal doses help bring about a state of wakefulness. Very high doses cause a user to become extremely sleepy.
- Re-dosing: with GHB, a user often wants to take a new dose. This is due to the fact that the effects of the drug are short-lived.
- Cognitive euphoria: Another name for the drug is "liquid XTC" for the reason that it can produce intense feelings of euphoria, similar to MDMA, opiates and cocaine. It is also sometimes described as a more euphoric version of alcohol. However, it is also a drug that you are much more likely to overdose on.
- Less inhibitions: GHB is known to make users more shameless and more likely to engage in risky activities such as unprotected sex, combining drugs and crossing certain boundaries. The likelihood of mistakes and dangerous actions is increased because the drug makes it difficult to make decisions. There is a good chance that someone will take advantage of the fact that a user under the influence of GHB is more vulnerable and willing. This is a real risk that both women and men should be wary of.
- Empathy: similar to MDMA, albeit to a lesser extent, GHB causes increased feelings of empathy and friendliness.
- Increased libido: users report increased desire for sex from GHB use.
Inadvertently ingested GHB?
There have been several reports of users accidentally ingesting GHB. The drug is liquid and transparent and therefore very easy to mix with water. Advice for harm reduction is as follows: if you decide to experiment with this drug, use e.g. blue food coloring to clearly label the drug.
Toxic to the brain
Several studies with rats show that GHB has a neurotoxic effect. In one study, the animals were administered the drug for 15 days in a row. It could then be seen that the number of neurons in the brain had decreased significantly.
Danger of addiction
There is a risk of addiction. Dependence occurs quickly, especially physically, but to a lesser extent mentally. Users who use GHB occasionally to regularly report anxiety attacks, sleeping problems and shivering. Users who take high doses for prolonged periods may experience severe withdrawal symptoms including psychosis, delirium and hallucinations.
Dangerous combinations with other drugs
Not just with GHB, other drugs become much riskier when combined with other substances. The most common drug used in combination with other drugs is alcohol. Users often forget that alcohol itself is a hard drug and can cause strong effects.
- Alcohol: combined with GHB, these two drugs create a high risk even at low doses, including the potential for vomiting, choking and breathing problems.
- Amphetamines: the combination of a stimulant such as amphetamine (speed) and GHB is especially dangerous. The "upper" allows a user to handle much higher doses of GHB. Subsequently, the chance of an overdose is all the greater.
- Nitrous oxide: The two substances increase the chance of "going out. As a user, you can suddenly lose consciousness. There is then a chance of choking on your own vomit. Blackouts are also common.
- Ketamine: like GHB, this drug produces a state of lethargy and increase the risk of vomiting and unconsciousness.
Interested in experimenting? Choose legal and natural smart drugs
There are an awful lot of illegal drugs in circulation that are being experimented with. When used safely and responsibly, the chances of negative effects are the smallest. Nevertheless, experimenting with these substances remains a risk. Often users do not know exactly what drug they have at hand. As is the case with GHB, many drugs are known to be difficult to dose. As a result, the risk of overdose is high.
At Sirius you will find a whole range of legal and natural smart drugs. These substances are provided with a lot of information so that you, as a user, can enjoy them safely and responsibly.
Kratom for an uplifting and relaxing high
Mitragyna speciosa, also known as kratom, is a tree native to Thailand. The leaves have been used as a painkiller and stimulant for thousands of years. Are you looking for a legal drug that gives you a relaxed feeling? Kratom resembles alcohol in its effects and is suitable for parties because it has a relaxing effect.
At Sirius you can get the dried leaves. There are also different powders and extracts available.
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