Hands of people talking about the side effects of GHB and alcohol abuse

What Are the Side Effects of GHB and Alcohol?

Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a CNS depressant that slows the body’s responses. Alcohol is also a depressant and is often combined with GHB to enhance the sedative effects. Unfortunately, mixing these two depressants can increase your risk of adverse side effects. 

If you are experiencing the troublesome side effects of GHB and alcohol abuse, you can find the help you need at Promises Brazos Valley. Our addiction treatment programs offer customized care to address your addiction and mental health needs. Call us today at 979.426.0086 to learn more about how we treat substance use disorders so you can achieve long-lasting recovery.

What Are the Side Effects of GHB and Alcohol Abuse?

GHB is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that induces euphoria and sedation. These effects are enhanced when consumed alongside alcohol.

Although people use these substances recreationally to elevate their mood in social settings, the combination of GHB and alcohol is extremely dangerous and should not be taken lightly. Some GHB and alcohol side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Fainting
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Coma
  • Overdose

Since some of the most severe side effects of GHB and alcohol can be fatal, it is recommended that you do not use these substances together.

Why Is It Dangerous to Combine GHB and Alcohol?

Since GHB and alcohol are both central nervous system depressants, they both slow down your body’s responses. In low to moderate doses, they function to allow people to feel calmer, happier, and more relaxed. That is why CNS depressants like Xanax or Valium are prescribed to treat anxiety or insomnia. Unfortunately, when substances are taken other than as prescribed or without a prescription, you can put yourself at risk of various side effects.

GHB, although available by prescription in certain forms for narcolepsy, is generally not used for medical purposes. Most consumption of GHB is recreational, so a person can easily take too much and potentially overdose. Combining two CNS depressants like GHB and alcohol intensifies the sedative effects. This can slow down your body’s responses to dangerously low levels, which can stop your breathing altogether. Each person responds differently to these drugs, so it can be difficult to know how much your body can handle before it is too late.

Protecting Yourself from GHB and Alcohol Abuse

Both GHB and alcohol lower your inhibitions and can lead to blackouts or periods of memory loss. This can make you vulnerable to sexual assault, accidents, or injuries you may not remember afterward. And sometimes, you may not knowingly take GHB with alcohol. This drug is also known as the date rape drug because people with ill intentions secretly slip the drug into another person’s drink to later take advantage of them. 

Some signs you may have been slipped GHB are:

  • Abrupt mood enhancement
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Sudden increase in sexual desire

If you are at a club or a party, you can protect yourself from unknowingly ingesting GHB by pouring your beverages or drinking only alcoholic drinks from sealed bottles or cans. Also, never leave your drink unattended. Keeping a close eye on your drink and refusing any substances that could be laced with GHB or another drug can help protect you from becoming a victim. 

Recover from GHB and Alcohol Side Effects at Promises Brazos Valley

The combination of GHB and alcohol can be dangerous. If you have a history of using these substances together or know someone who does, you must consult your provider about the potential risks. If you find it difficult to stop using GHB or alcohol, contact Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086 to enroll in one of our comprehensive addiction treatment programs. 

Scroll to Top