Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant found naturally in the body in the form of an amino acid. At high doses, GHB slows heart rate and respiration considerably. At low doses, it sedates the body. Some body builders incorporate it in their muscle-building initiatives.
“At high doses, GHB slows heart rate and respiration considerably.”-Projectknow.com
Those who are addicted to GHB and alcohol like it because of the euphoric effect it gives them. It is a popular club drug as many revelers mix it with alcohol. Many people peddle it as a clear, colorless liquid.
This drug goes by several street names including:
- Liquid Ecstasy
- Cherry Meth
- Liquid X
- Easy Lay
- Liquid E
If you are addicted to a drug known by any of these names, you should seek professional help immediately.
Effects of GHB Use
On its own, this drug acts as a rapid-acting version of alcohol. It has similar effects to alcohol, like loss of balance, slurring of speech and coma at high doses. When mixed with alcohol, the combined effect is the same as that of an overdose of GHB alone. If you take very high doses of these two drugs, you may experience respiratory failure.
The dangers of mixing GHB with alcohol are compounded by the fact that the former is often manufactured in makeshift laboratories. This means the quality is poorly regulated and controlled. Some forms contain caustic soda, which is a membrane irritant and corrodes the stomach and mouth.
Manufacturers of this drug use different formulas. This makes it very difficult to know how much will cause an overdose since strengths and purities of different formulas vary. There are variants that are very potent even in seemingly small doses. Addicts develop different tolerances for the drug, and the effects of an overdose vary from person to person.
The side effects of this drug include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Decreased heart rate
It is a fact that you can become addicted to GHB and alcohol. One common way of getting addicted to the drug is by using it as a sleep inducer. This usually occurs when addicts who first took these drugs to feel high find that they can no longer get to sleep without them. A vicious cycle then develops that necessitates regular intake of the drug.
Dangers of Adding Alcohol to the Mix
The effects of mixing GHB and alcohol include:
- Respiratory failure
According to the California-based Casa Palmera, its 2009 Monitoring the Future survey revealed that more than 1 percent of students in grade 12 abused GHB in 2007.
Getting Treatment for Your Addiction
As usual with drug addictions, a person addicted to GHB and alcohol is not likely to quit on his or her own. If you are addicted, you should seek professional care. The specific treatment program you will receive depends on the circumstances under which you take the drug. In some cases, you will be given antipsychotic or benzodiazepines. These are meant to help you manage the withdrawal symptoms, which can be severe at times.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks
- Altered mental state
Apart from drug administration, you will also need individual counseling or group counseling. There may also be behavioral therapy to help you accept and modify your views on drug use. This will take into account the specific circumstances under which you begun using the drug. Full rehabilitation is only possible if you receive professional help.
You should not try to self-detoxify. You need to go through rehabilitation at a treatment center where healthcare providers can help alleviate your withdrawal symptoms and manage your health during the detox process. Medical professionals at a center will also administer suitable drugs, monitor your response to them, and make appropriate adjustments if needed. Therefore, if you are addicted to GHB and alcohol, call to get help finding a treatment center.
- This drug was legally available in health food stores until 1990.
- GHB also goes by the street name “Easy Lay”.
- GHB can be manufactured in homes with ingredients bought from gyms and food stores.