Street GBH – What does it look like
GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a natural substance present in the body in very small amounts. As a street drug, GHB is a synthetic manufactured in illegal labs. Because the chemicals and processes used to make it vary, the purity and strength of the final product is not predictable.
People take it orally, often sold as a clear, colourless liquid. It also comes as a white powder or as capsules. GHB dissolved in a liquid is odourless and tasteless, allowing it to be slipped into drinks. Its sedative effects have been used to prevent victims from resisting sexual assault. For this reason, it is referred to as a “date rape” drug.
Also known as fantasy, G, gamma hydroxybutyrate, liquid ecstasy, liquid X, grievous bodily harm, organic Quaalude, salty water, scoop, soap, easy lay, vita-G and Georgia homeboy.
The effects on a person are unpredictable. Its effects depend on various factors:
- age and weight
- mood, expectations and environment
- medical or psychiatric conditions
- the dose taken
- whether the person has eaten recently
- the type and amount of food in the person’s stomach
- how often and for how long GHB has been used.
The effects are dangerous and unpredictable. They are usually felt within 10 to 20 minutes and may last for up to four hours. GHB may make people feel relaxed, euphoric, sedated and sleepy. It also causes people to lose their inhibitions. Feeling dizzy for several days after its use can happen.
Other short-term effects:
- loss of consciousness
- memory loss
- loss of coordination (e.g. stumbling, jerky movements)
- nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- decreased breathing
- decreased blood pressure and heart rate
- lowered body temperature
- increased libido (interest in sex)
Overdose & Effect of the Drug
It is easy to take too much GHB because the amount that produces the desired or pleasurable effects is close to the amount that can cause an overdose. A person will experience slowed breathing, seizures, and coma if too much of it is taken, followed by death. If you think that a person has overdosed, contact emergency services immediately.
It is a potent sedative and can cause users to fall into a deep sleep. Users may vomit during sleep and choke. Taking this drug with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, is very dangerous and may result in death. The intense depression of the central nervous system can lead to slowed breathing and ultimately dying because the brain stops telling the lungs to breathe.
Is GHB Addictive?
Yes. Regular use of GHB may lead to physical dependence and addiction.
With regular use, people become tolerant and need larger doses to get the initial effects of the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms may occur in people who use GHB often. Abruptly stopping may result in unpleasant and potentially dangerous effects, including:
- confusion and delirium
- hallucinations (hearing, seeing or feeling things that aren’t real)
- paranoia (feeling suspicious, hostile or fearful)
- difficulty sleeping
- nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- high blood pressure
- tremors and muscle cramps
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