Dangers of GHB Drug Abuse and Addiction | Banyan Boca
ghb abuse

Date rape drugs have been around for decades, and have affected many people.

As the name suggests, these drugs have aided many people in performing horrendous acts of sexual assault. GHB is a drug that was known as a date rape drug but is now being used recreationally by more people. Between 1994 and 2002, there was a 9,000 percent increase in emergency room visits related to GHB use.1 As with other drugs, GHB addiction can occur with continuous misuse and abuse. Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Boca is offering insight into GHB abuse, its side effects, and its dangers.

What is GHB?

GHB is the shortened name for the drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. It’s a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that has now become a drug of abuse. GHB is often used as a general anesthetic or to treat sleep disorders like insomnia and narcolepsy, but has also been used to treat depression and alcoholism. As a central nervous system depressant, it works by creating a relaxing effect, similar to alcohol, to the point where users are unable to move or lose consciousness. GHB is also a common date rape drug because it causes blackouts, memory loss, and it can be used to drug someone to sleep.

However, when the GHB dosage is small, it acts more like a stimulant and aphrodisiac. It produces feelings of euphoria and increases sociability, making it a popular drug to use at parties and clubs. In its purest form, GHB has no odor or color. It can come in the form of a white powder or salt-like substance. GHB can be injected, snorted, or dissolved into drinks. Many individuals who use it as a date rape drug buy it in the salt or powdered form so they can spike their victim’s drinks.

Some common names for GHB include:

  • G
  • Fantasy
  • Liquid ecstasy
  • Salty water
  • Georgia homeboy
  • Soap scoop
  • Blue nitro
  • Cherry meth
  • GEEB
  • Grievous bodily harm
  • Liquid X
  • Liquid E

What Are The Side Effects Of GHB?

The side effects of GHB drug abuse are more noticeable than those of other commonly abused drugs. Remember that prescription drugs like GHB can be abused and cause addiction like any other illicit drug. Taking more GHB than prescribed, misusing it, or mixing it with other substances falls under the category of drug abuse. In addition to the trauma of sexual assault, spiking drinks with GHB is also extremely dangerous. It’s hard to measure the dose of GHB when it’s used in salt form, and increases the person’s risk of overdose. There have been several reports of young women dying from a GHB overdose after consuming spiked drinks.

Some common side effects of GHB include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Increased libido (sex drive)
  • Impaired judgment and lowered inhibitions
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleepiness
  • Blackouts and unconsciousness
  • Memory loss or gaps in memory
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle tremors
  • Loss of coordination
  • Impaired motor movement
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Respiratory arrest (stopping breathing)

Chronic GHB substance abuse can lead to a variety of health problems. While they aren’t clear, some long-term effects of GHB that can occur include addiction, respiratory disease, and heart problems. Individuals who abuse prescription drugs like GHB or have become dependent on drugs like this can get help at Banyan Treatment Centers Boca. We offer residential drug treatment in Boca that is suited for people who have severe addictions and require 24-hour care and individualized treatment.

How Long Do The Effects Of GHB Last?

How long the effects of GHB last and how quickly they kick in depends on how it’s taken. When taken orally, the effects of GHB usually begin within 10 and 20 minutes. Because GHB has a half-life of 30 to 50 minutes, half of the dose taken will be flushed out of a person’s system within this time frame.2 When it comes to GHB withdrawal, a person who’s become dependent on this drug may experience certain physical symptoms like insomnia, shaking, sweating, and psychosis. Withdrawal can be dangerous and life-threatening if a person attempts to quit using GHB on their own. We recommend a medically monitored detox for individuals who are struggling with drug addiction to ensure they safely get through the withdrawal process.

Signs of GHB Abuse

There are certain physical and psychological indicators of GHB abuse that a person may exhibit. Some common GHB abuse symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Increased sex drive
  • Incoherent or slurred speech
  • Memory loss
  • Unusual body language or movement
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Changes in friend groups
  • Partying or clubbing more often
  • Seizures

The physical, mental, and can be detrimental. If you or someone you know is battling addiction, call Banyan Boca now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our addiction levels of care.

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.