8 Things You Probably Don’t Know About GHB, the “Date Rape Drug” Comments Off on 8 Things You Probably Don’t Know About GHB, the “Date Rape Drug” 99

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Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, also known as “liquid ecstasy” or GHB, has acquired a terrible reputation as it has been linked to cases of sexual assault, nausea when combined with other substances, and in some cases death. Prevalent in the gay community and global party culture alike, GHB is most commonly utilized for effects compared to a mixture of alcohol and stimulants. Whether you personally partake in the consumption of this party drug or not, it is likely that you’ve heard friends warn against combining this substance with alcohol, taking too much at once and “falling out” (temporary loss of consciousness), or conversely, you’ve heard them give glowing reviews of the temporary dissociative effects it has. Regardless of personal experience (or lack thereof), here are 8 things you probably don’t know about this party drug.

1. It’s Used by Bodybuilders

This substance has been used by the bodybuilding community since its discovery in 1960. Although it is known for aiding in the release of Human Growth Hormone, this is not the only reason GHB has proven to be beneficial to bodybuilders. It is more commonly used in conjunction with synthetic growth hormone injections as it aids our body in the natural restoration of growth hormone that is inhibited during synthetic injections, according to thinksteroids.com. Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts also consume low-calorie diets rich in proteins and low in fats and carbohydrates. One negative side effect of this diet is the formation of higher amounts of hydrogen ions in the blood, effectively destroying both the proteins you ingest and your muscle proteins. GHB combats this unwanted effect by aiding in the production of molecules that fight and neutralize acids, allowing your body to retain proteins while permitting fat loss.

2. It’s Naturally Occurring in the Brain

GHB is a naturally-occurring metabolite of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. According to drugs.com, this natural substance is present in much lower concentrations in the brain than the levels found when the drug is used recreationally. Roughly 95% of GHB is metabolized by the liver, and the likelihood of testing positive for GHB consumption after 24 hours is unlikely.

3. A Prescription Drug Version Exists

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a prescription form of GHB under the generic name sodium oxybate, or the trade name Xyrem. This pharmaceutical is used for the treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles as it does in patients who do not suffer from this disorder. It is a schedule III controlled substance, which means that it has a lower potential for abuse compared to schedule II drugs such as Adderall. Read more about GHB’s medical usage here.

4. Ketamine and GHB is a Dangerous Combination

Although many partygoers and circuit queens are well-informed of the dangers of combining alcohol and GHB (blackouts, nausea, death in extreme cases), some users are relatively uninformed when it comes to combining GHB with other common party drugs. At events where GHB is a prevalent substance of use, it is likely that another common club drug, Ketamine, will be present as well. Generally classified as a dissociative anesthetic, Ketamine produces a state in the central nervous system in which temporary amnesia and loss of pain are induced, according to projectghb.org. What many don’t know is that due to it’s classification as a depressant, it can exacerbate the depressant effect GHB has on the body as well, which may result in loss of consciousness and slower respiration. When combining these drugs it is important for the user to administer lower doses compared to taking the drugs individually, and space out the doses for each drug so the cumulative effect doesn’t overwhelm the nervous system and cause possibly dangerous effects.

5. It is Regarded as an Antidepressant (to some)

There is discussion in the psychiatric community that common SSRI and MAOI antidepressants (take brand name Prozac for example), are not really “antidepressants” because they don’t stimulate mood, but rather thymoanaesthetics (drugs that help regulate mood, effectively anesthetizing our emotions, both positive and negative). This is why many patients who suffer from depression report feeling “less extreme” versions of both positive and negative emotions while on these common antidepressants. However, according to biopsychiatry.com, GHB enhances sociability by stimulating brain oxytocin neurotransmitters. Therefore it actually works in elevating mood and promoting positive feelings, supporting the argument that it could be classified as an antidepressant.

6. There are Far Fewer Deaths from GHB than We Assume

According to the HRF, only 72 deaths related or directly caused by GHB have been reported since the DEA started tracking the drug in 1990. However, 15,600 overdoses have been tracked in the US during the same time period. Although the death-to-overdose ratio is remarkably low, the drug remains a major concern as it is particularly dangerous when combined with other substances, especially other central nervous system depressants.

7. Some are Replacing Alcohol with GHB on Nights Out

Given the empty caloric content, nasty hangover side-effects, and damage to your liver that alcohol provides, many people who are looking for a boost in alertness, fitness, and better sleep are reducing, or altogether removing their intake of alcohol. As people look to other substances that increase sociability, enhance mood, or elevate surrounding stimuli such as live music or the booming beats and strobe lights of a nightclub, GHB is often turned to. Erowid.org documents that the hangover from low to medium doses of GHB is mild or non-existent altogether, which could prove beneficial to 8-5 working professionals who choose to hit the scene on a Tuesday night.

8. It Makes You Need to Use the Restroom

Many users experience the need to pass a bowel movement within minutes of their first dose. This phenomenon can be explained by the way GHB relaxes certain muscle groups in the human body.

In summary, it is our intention in this article to provide you with a collection of interesting facts about GHB that you might not otherwise find anywhere else. We are not advocating for or against this substance, and we want to clarify that unless you are prescribed Xyrem by your physician, GHB is an illegal, schedule II drug in the United States. If you do partake in the consumption, stay informed, stay hydrated, and look out for one another.

 

If you liked this article, check out: 8 Things You Should Know About MDMA

 

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