Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a CNS ( Central Nervous System) depressant used as sedatives, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. This lowers the neurotransmission levels and helps the individual to get relaxation. In addition, it is commonly used as an anesthetic to take care of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and insomnia.
Table Of Contents:
- GHB Abuse
- Signs and Symptoms of GHB Abuse
- Withdrawal Symptoms of GHB Abuse
- GHB Use During Pregnancy
Despite being a prescription drug, it is abused and commonly called by the street names - Liquid G, LiquidX, etc. It is considered a cheap alternative to Ecstasy (MDMA). If abused, the GHB can make you lose consciousness.
Even though it acts as a stimulant in small doses, giving the user a sense of relaxation, it is used for recreational activities. Hence, it is commonly identified as "club drug" or "date rape drug." When it goes to overdose, it may lead to memory loss, cardiac arrest, and even death if it goes to overdose.
In 1990, the U.S government made the drug completely illegal all over the country, but later, in 2000, had allowed the use for medical purposes, including narcolepsy, anxiety disorders, etc. It is listed under Schedule I of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.
Signs and Symptoms of GHB Abuse
The GHB abuse symptoms may not be the same for everyone. For some, there would not be any symptoms, and they show off as effects. Hence, they are challenging to detect as they are misrepresented for alcohol or ecstasy symptoms. Some of the notable signs and symptoms of GHB abuse include
- Lack of motor ability
- Impulsiveness in behavior
- Increased sex drive
- Mumbled speech
- Loss of memory
- Instability or unusual body language
Withdrawal Symptoms of GHB Abuse
Withdrawal symptoms may remain in the body for a week to months after last consumption based on the frequency and amount of intake. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms include
- Night sweats
- Lack of coordination
- High heartbeat and blood pressure
- Cardiac arrest (Extreme cases)
GHB Abuse During Pregnancy
The exact effect of GHB abuse during pregnancy is not known. But it is recommended not to use GHB during pregnancy. It will help if you take the advice of the healthcare provider before taking GHB during pregnancy.
The most common treatment for GHB overdose is detoxification. Medical professionals may advise you to take benzodiazepines or other anticonvulsants under medical supervision to detoxify the drug. In severe cases of overdose, in-patient treatment would be recommended.