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GHB: 5 Things You Should Know

Commonly known as the “date rape” drug, and also by street names: liquid X, liquid ecstasy, liquid G, Georgia Home Boy, and gamma-oh, GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate) is not only administered to unknowing victims for sexual assault, but it is also abused by teens and young adults. Its intoxicating effects make it impossible for an individual to fight off an attack, or even to remember what happened. Those who abuse the drug chase the euphoria and increased sex drive commonly listed as its positive effects.

Though the drug is prescribed under the brand name, Xyrem, for the treatment of narcolepsy, it can be lethal if used recreationally. GHB is a naturally-occurring metabolite of GABA within the human brain, but the synthetic version of GHB is nothing like it. The chemicals that are being bought and sold off the streets are created in illegal labs and often contain contaminants including lye, drain cleaner, and degreaser solvent that increase its toxicity. These contaminants are then mixed with GBL, a chemical cousin of GHB, which is an industrial strength floor stripping solvent. Clearly, these chemicals are not for human consumption, and come with a host of health risks.

Additionally, the drug is often mixed with alcohol to mask the salty or soapy taste, which also increases its intoxicating effects. Alcohol, and other CNS depressants, including benzodiazepines, can cause serious respiratory depression, vomiting, and aspiration. With or without other drugs, the use of GHB can result in seizures, coma, and death. In short, the ingestion of GHB is a big gamble. It can become addictive with repetitive use, and the withdrawal can be severe.

If you or your loved one are struggling with GHB addiction, we can help. Medically-supervised detox is necessary for GHB withdrawal, and it could last one to two weeks. Without medical detox, people may try using alcohol or benzodiazepines to come down, but these could make withdrawal worse, and can cause coma or death. Benzodiazepines, as well as antihypertensive and anticonvulsant medications may be used in detox, but only under close medical supervision. Give us a call, don’t put your life and your recovery on hold any longer.

Clinical detox can come with the comforts of home. Serenity Recovery Center is the answer to your detox needs. Creating a modern and comfortable environment, our program offers the best practices for safety and compassion during withdrawals. Call us today for information on our program at the Encino Hospital Medical Center: 866.294.9401