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Symptoms of GHB Addiction

Debunking the Myths of GHB

Debunking the Myths of GHB

A problem concerning GHB use and addiction is that it often begins with a false sense of safety. Misinformed users believe it is safe and has no lasting effects because of its past as a widely used medication. This is obviously untrue, as even medications used today can be potentially problematic if abused. Below is a list of GHB myths and the realities of the GHB addiction.

You can’t become addicted to GHB! It’s already in your body!

While it is true that GHB is a naturally occurring component within the human body, it is still possible to develop an addiction to the synthesized drug. Addiction to GHB develops easily and quickly because the body does not differentiate between the synthetic GHB and the naturally occurring compound- it merely recognizes an increase of the chemical and adjust to the new, higher levels.

GHB has a short half-life. That means no withdrawal or detox symptoms!

The short half-life of GHB means it does not last long in storage, it does not negate the effects of withdrawal or detoxification. Withdrawal from GHB can be intense and potentially deadly if unmonitored. Symptoms of GHB detox typically last 10 to 14 days; detoxification should not be attempted with the assistance of a rehabilitation center.

GHB is called Pink Meth, so it must be like regular meth!

GHB is called Pink Meth, so it must be like regular meth!

GHB and Meth have no chemical similarities at all. Where GHB is a narcotic sedative that slows brain function and activates the opioid system, Meth acts as a stimulant, flooding the brain and nervous system with dopamine. The nickname “pink meth” comes from the pink tablet form of GHB and the sometimes similar symptoms of use between the drugs.

I only use GHB occasionally to enhance the party- I’ll be fine!

GHB is dangerous regardless of frequency of use. The first dose can be just as deadly as the 100th, especially because of the unpredictable nature of the dosage. The amount need to cause the desired effects in a 125 lb, 40 year old woman that has abused GHB for years can kill a 300 lb, 25 year old pro-wrestler using GHB for the first time.

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Dangers of Short-Term Use

Dangers of Short-Term Use

GHB’s most dangerous characteristic is being unable to predict how one will react to it. Occasional dalliances and even limiting one’s self to small, seemingly safe doses does not guarantee safe use. Low dosage can still be life-threatening and result in:

  • decreased heart rate
  • slowed breathing
  • drowsiness
  • decreased anxiety
  • sensitivity to touch

Higher doses carry more serious threats, like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Blackouts
  • Hallucinations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slurred speech

Symptoms of GHB Addiction

Symptoms of GHB Addiction

Like any drug that interacts with the central nervous system, GHB addiction can cause changes in the brain’s chemistry. These changes can result in permanent and troubling damage. Depression and mood swings are common among sedative abusers and are caused by chemical imbalances due to prolonged GHB use. Since GHB affects the memory centers of the brain sometimes resulting in amnesia or lapses in memory, addiction to GHB can give way to chronically impaired memory and issues regarding judgement capabilities. Physical symptoms such as slurred speech and vision problems. In some unfortunate cases GHB can cause comas and death.

Recognizing the Signs of Possible GHB Addiction

Recognize the Signs of Possible GHB Addiction

Because it is so easy to conceal, addicts can abuse GHB without detection. The drug is often taken in public via water bottle or soft drink while witnesses remain oblivious. However, if one is aware of a few telling signs of GHB addiction, it is possible to identify and intervene with a potentially serious problem.

GHB abusers may complain of severe headaches or migraines, display sudden and seemingly unprovoked mood swings, and suffer from depression. As the abuse continues they may have changes in personality: someone who was once carefree and charismatic is now angry, violent, or pessimistic. Trouble in school or work and sudden difficulty remembering simple things like plans with friends or instructions can also be a warning sign of developing GHB dependency.

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