GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a natural substance present in the body in very small amounts. As a street drug, GHB is a synthetic (man-made) chemical that is made in illegal labs. Because the chemicals and processes used to make GHB vary, the purity and strength of the final product is not predictable.
GHB is taken orally and is often sold as a clear, colourless, liquid. GHB may also be sold as a white powder, or as capsules. GHB dissolves in liquid, it is odourless and tasteless, allowing it to be slipped into drinks. Its sedative effects have been used to prevent victims from resisting sexual assault. For this reason, it can be referred to as a 'date rape' drug.
Also Known As: fantasy, G, gamma hydroxybutyrate, liquid ecstasy, liquid X, grievous bodily harm, organic quaalude, salty water, scoop, soap, easy lay, vita-G ...
Category: Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants
The effects of GHB are dangerous and unpredictable. They are usually felt within 10 to 20 minutes and may last for up to four hours. GHB may make people feel relaxed, euphoric, sedated and sleepy. It also causes people to lose their inhibitions. Some people feel dizzy for several days after using GHB.
Short-term use of GHB can produce many other effects:
- loss of consciousness
- memory loss
- loss of coordination (e.g. stumbling, jerky movements)
- nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- decreased breathing
- decreased blood pressure and heart rate
- lowered body temperature
- increased libido (interest in sex)
It is easy to take too much GHB because the amount that produces the desired or pleasurable effects is close to the amount that can cause an overdose. An overdose can cause slowed breathing, coma, seizures and may even result in death. If you think that a person has overdosed, contact emergency services immediately.
GHB is a potent sedative and can cause users to fall into deep sleep. Users may vomit during sleep and choke.
Taking GHB with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, is very dangerous and may result in death. When used together, the depressive effects on the central nervous system are greater than when each drug is used alone. This intense depression of the central nervous system can lead to slowed breathing, and ultimately death because the brain stops telling the lungs to breathe.
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