GHB, (gammahydroxy-butyric acid) is a popular drug that is typically introduced and used by young adults voluntarily or involuntarily in a club or party setting. GHB is primarily an odorless and tasteless substance with a mild salty flavor which makes it mostly undetectable if it is mixed with other liquid substances. As such, it has acquired a reputation as a date rape drug because of these qualities in addition to its sedative effects that tend to be amplified when consumed with alcohol.
Apart from its euphoric effects, GHB is also recognized and highly favored for its aphrodisiac properties. Although the chemical composition of GHB is not the same as Ecstasy (MDMA) it is misleadingly called “Liquid X” or “liquid Ecstasy” in these recreational settings where most GHB addiction stories begin. Hillory Farias at 17 years of age reportedly “unknowingly” consumed GHB after it was slipped into her soda at a nightclub with a friend. Until then her friends and family say she did not drink, never used drugs or even been on a date. After visiting the club and being exposed to GHB, Hillory died the next morning. Based on the coroner’s report, her blood contained unsafe levels of GHB.
Unlike Hillory, Kyle was introduced GHB as a sleep aid supplement that could help in his muscle building efforts. In an attempt to be careful, Kyle did his own internet research the on the drug before consuming it. Unfortunately, misinformation led him to believe the drug was safe to use and he became another victim of GHB.
One of the dangers of using GHB is the slim margin for error that inevitably caused the death of both Kyle and Hillory. While these are tragic reports, there is another side to GHB. It is the slow insidious dependence and addiction that can occur with habitual use of this dangerous drug. Based on study outcomes, GHB systematically destroys the body’s ability to experience happiness without anxiety and panic. It is also extremely risky to use because undiluted doses of GHB can very quickly induce a comatose condition or cause a fatal overdose.
The dangers are also heightened significantly when GHB is mixed with alcohol or other forms of central nervous system depressants. Maybe the most dangerous aspect of using GHB recreationally, is the misconception that it is not an addictive substance. Its popular use by bodybuilders and as a sleep aid for busy people on the go also help to perpetuate this fallacy of safety. ScientistS however warn that addiction to GHB is possible if it is consumed on a daily basis. And, like any other substance of abuse, most people in addiction will continuously increase the amount of GHB consumed in order to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as spikes in blood pressure, severe anxiety and even hallucinations that this drug is known to produce. Studies also indicate that GHB present various complications during detoxification which can last as long as 14 days.
As such, medical oversight is always recommended for people trying to stop using this drug. This is one substance, according to addiction specialists, that produces such intense depression that it requires a careful and specialized continuum of care to achieve full recovery and sustainable sobriety. The heart-breaking experience of young people who are exposed to this drug or who become addicted extends to the parents who witness the suffering of their children’s with GHB addiction. As such, t is not surprising that it has been described in vivid terms by one parent as… “being in Hell in the Twilight Zone” as a small description of what it feels like when your son or daughter is hooked on drugs. Over 225 GHB related deaths have been documented in the last two years and attest to the dangerous effects of this drug.
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