Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant drug that has gained popularity as a club or party drug. Partygoers illicitly use this substance for its ability to impart intense feelings of calm and relaxation and lowered inhibitions. Unfortunately, GHB has a dark side, with some people using it to commit assault. Understanding what GHB is and how it is used can help you protect yourself or a loved one from the risks and know when recovery services are necessary.
At Promises Brazos Valley, we understand how party drugs like GHB may come across as relatively harmless mood enhancers. However, people can also use GHB to inflict harm on others. Consuming it can lead to detrimental physical side effects and put people at risk of addiction. Call us at 979.426.0086 if you or someone you care about needs help to overcome GHB abuse or addiction. Ask our caring and compassionate team about our recovery services and start on the road to a better quality of life today.
What Is GHB?
GHB is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that slows down brain activity. It is classified as a Schedule I drug due to its high potential for misuse. Other drugs in this category are heroin, LSD, and peyote. Schedule I drugs are also considered to have no accepted medical use, but GHB has been prescribed in other forms.
GHB has been used as the prescription drug Xyrem to treat narcolepsy. It is also used off-label to treat depression, alcohol use disorder (AUD), and opioid use disorder (OUD). When available in this form, it is classified as a Schedule III drug with a recognized medical use and low to moderate potential for physical or psychological dependence.
The most common use of GHB is for recreational purposes as a party drug. Its sedative and anesthetic effects have earned GHB the reputation of being a date rape drug. Some people secretly slip this drug into another person’s drink to render them vulnerable to sexual assault.
What Are the Risks of GHB Abuse?
GHB is not safe to use other than under the guidance of a medical professional. There are numerous risks associated with GHB, such as:
- Feeling ill – GHB can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness when taken on an empty stomach.
- Being defenseless against sexual assault – Whether you take GHB voluntarily or unknowingly ingest it, you can become unconscious and experience memory loss while under the influence. This makes you vulnerable to assault, which you may not remember the next day.
- Susceptibility to risky situations – Because GHB can cause loss of inhibitions, you may do things you would not have considered doing if sober. This may include engaging in unsafe sex, experimenting with other substances, or operating a vehicle under the influence.
- Mental health issues – Abusing GHB can cause paranoia and hallucinations. It can also worsen existing mental health disorders or trigger new ones.
- Potential for overdose – Because GHB depresses the central nervous system, combining it with other depressants can cause serious health risks. Seizures and coma are some of the more severe side effects. GHB is often mixed with alcohol, which can be fatal in large doses.
Although GHB can produce euphoria and relaxation, making it a desirable party drug, it can lead to many physical and psychological consequences. Unfortunately, it can be addictive since it interacts with brain neurotransmitters that soon become dependent on it. But with the right professional help, you can overcome GHB addiction.
Find GHB Addiction Treatment at Promises Brazos Valley
If you or someone you know is using GHB recreationally, you must seek help. Promises Brazos Valley offers a comprehensive addiction treatment program to help you break free from GHB dependence. You will receive a personalized treatment plan consisting of individual and group therapy, medication, and support to address withdrawal symptoms, triggers, and other underlying issues. Contact Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086 to learn more about GHB abuse and how we can help you recover.