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What Is GHB and Why Is it Abused?

a person sits on a couch pondering what is ghb

Party drugs like ecstasy and molly are considerably popular worldwide among people of all age groups. The drugs produce an intense feeling of euphoria and boost energy to keep the good times rolling for hours. However, these drugs can also be highly addictive and have severe consequences. One lesser-known party drug is gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). The drug exploded onto the scene in the 1980s, leading many people to eventually seek GHB addiction treatment to help them quit the drug safely.

If you or a loved one struggle with GHB addiction, it is time to get help. The team at Northpoint Recovery knows how important it is for you to find a supportive environment where you can detox from the drug and equip the tools for recovery. Call 888.296.8976 to get started today.

What Is GHB?

What is GHB?

GHB is a central nervous system depressant. The drug is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making it easy to slip into drinks without detection. It has a short half-life, which means the effects of the drug wear off relatively quickly. However, this also means people often take more GHB to maintain the high, leading to addiction.

People who take GHB recreationally often refer to it as a date rape drug because it can cause people to blackout and become unable to consent to sexual activity. The drug is sometimes combined with other drugs like ketamine or alcohol to increase its effects.

There are many street names for GHB, including:

  • G
  • Gina
  • Goop
  • Liquid Ecstasy
  • Liquid G
  • Soap
  • Scoop

Street Names for GHB

How Does GHB Work?

GHB works by binding to specific receptors in the brain. These bonds increase dopamine levels, which are responsible for feelings of euphoria and pleasure.

However, GHB also suppresses the central nervous system, leading to slowed breathing, coordination loss, coma, and death in severe cases. Additionally, because it easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and immediately begins acting on receptors in the brain, the body can quickly become dependent on the drug.

The ABCs and 123s of GHB

Another danger of taking GHB is that it can be difficult to detect in a drink and could cause someone who has been drugged unknowingly to consent to sexual activity, putting them at risk of rape.

Is GHB a Date Rape Drug?

GHB can be a date rape drug. The drug is often used to spike drinks because it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. These characteristics make it easy to slip into someone’s drink without knowing.

Additionally, GHB can cause people to blackout and become unable to consent to sexual activity, putting them at risk of rape or sexual assault.

A Date Rape Drug of Choice in the Modern Era

Signs and Symptoms of GHB Addiction

The signs of GHB addiction can vary but often include confusion and disorientation. People struggling with addiction may also appear drowsy or slow to wake up and have poor coordination.

What are the Risks and Potential Negative Side Effects When Taking GHB?

Other symptoms of GHB addiction may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression

If you or a loved one are showing these signs, it is essential to seek help as soon as possible. GHB addiction is a serious condition that can be life-threatening.

Withdrawing from GHB

When the body is physically dependent on GHB, quitting cold turkey can lead to severe symptoms and even death.

Those going through withdrawal often experience:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Insomnia and restlessness
  • Anxiety and depression

To safely detox from GHB, it is important to seek professional help. Trained recovery specialists and medical professionals can help monitor the withdrawal symptoms to keep you safe and comfortable. Managing withdrawal is crucial to avoid relapsing.

GHB Addiction Treatment at Northpoint Recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with GHB addiction, the team at Northpoint Recovery can help. Our experienced staff provides comprehensive treatment programs that include medically-assisted detox, individual and group therapy, and family support to ensure your success in recovery.

To learn more about our programs and get started on your journey to wellness, call us at 888.296.8976 today.

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What is GHB?