Drug Rehabilitation Blog


What You Need to Know About GHB

Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a type of drug that is popular among teens and young adults. Like other designer drugs, people commonly use GHB at clubs and parties. Since the drug depresses the central nervous system, officials refer to it as the date rape drug. When mixed with alcohol, GHB can cause a person to black out. Some other names for the drug include liquid ecstasy, G, cups and Georgia homeboy.

What You Need to Know About GHB

What Does GHB Look Like?

Forms of the Drug

GHB comes in the following forms:

  • Clear liquid
  • White powder
  • Tablets
  • Capsules


GHB has no color or smell, which is why people put it in drinks. Once someone adds GHB to a drink, it is virtually undetectable. Those who make the drug usually manufacture it in their home using homemade recipes and kits purchased on the Internet. The two primary ingredients are gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and sodium hydroxide. Manufacturers commonly use these substances in drain cleaners and stripping solvents.

How Do People Use GHB?

People abuse GHB so that they can get high. The federal government classifies GHB as a schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse. Since 1992, more than 3,500 people have died from overdosing on GHB. Many young people use it as a recreational drug while they attend parties or raves. Besides that, some bodybuilders use the drug to stimulate muscle growth. Since GHB is colorless and odorless, criminals can even add it to drinks to drug unsuspecting victims.

What are the Side Effects?

Just like other schedule I drugs, GHB can negatively impact a person in many ways. For example, more than 1,000 people visit the emergency room each year due to GHB. Those who abuse the drug are often unaware of the consequences. The drug can have both short-term and long-term side effects.

Short-term Effects

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing

Long-term Effects

  • Difficulty thinking
  • Hallucinations
  • Amnesia
  • Headaches
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma

Why Do People Use GHB?

Most people who use GHB like that it serves as a pleasure enhancer. The drug depresses the central nervous system, which induces intoxication. In addition, some people also use it as a sedative. For example, they may use GHB to reduce the effects of cocaine, LSD or methamphetamines. Unfortunately, those who use GHB to prevent physical withdrawal symptoms are still harming their body.

Seeking Treatment

Over time, those who abuse GHB can develop an addiction to the drug. Heavy users often develop a tolerance for GHB, which means that they need to take heavier doses of the drug to experience the same high. When a GHB addict tries to stop using the drug, he or she can go into withdrawal in less than an hour. The withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Restlessness
  • Bone and muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pain

Those who have a GHB addiction should check into an inpatient treatment center for help. Inpatient treatment centers are a safe option because they have trained staff to monitor each patient’s health and well-being. Addicts who attempt to withdraw from the drug at home usually fail. Inpatient treatment centers are helpful because they have both counselors and physicians on hand. The staff members can help make the withdrawal process a little more bearable and the outcome more satisfactory.


  • Amanda

    Wow, some of these articles are scary on here. I mean to read the facts and figures on how easy it is to access drugs. I mean GHB it easily made at home and ordered off the internet. I also could not believe that people use that drug to handle the effects or other drugs. It never cease to amaze how easy people can access drugs with the Internet. With drugs so easily accessed, it makes drug addiction even more prevalent. It is so important to help anyone that is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction to a clinic.

  • Walter

    Well that is creepy that you cannot detect the drug when it is dissolved in water. I remember reading and hearing about GHB when I was in school and the only use was apparently the date-rape aspect of the drug, but I was unaware that people actually would just use it as a sedative to get off of other drugs. Also, I was not aware that people would make it themselves. This is a very real threat that people are using this drug, and it would be wise for everyone to be educated on the possible effects of it. Also, you don’t really hear about this drug that much. It would be good if it got more attention based on how dangerous this drug is. This was an informative article and an interesting read.

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