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GHB is considered a club drug and is also known in the media as a date-rape drug. GHB is a central nervous system depressant and was actually approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). These types of club drugs are used at raves, night clubs, dance, and trance clubs. They are very inexpensive but can create a very intoxicating effect on the individual. GHB is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, which is why it is well known as a date-rape drug. It can be added to beverages without the person being aware of it. When mixed with alcohol this drug can incapacitate someone and prevent them from resisting sexual assault. GHB can also cause seizures when combined with other drugs and alcohol or can result in nausea and breathing difficulties. In-house treatment or detox is the best method to handle a GHB addiction withdrawal. There are many detox centers in Canada that can take care of GHB abuse and addiction.

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Drug: Gamma hydroxybutyrate

GHB Street Name: Gina, Georgia Home Boy, G, GB, GBH, Juice, Fantasy, Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X, Somatomax, Scoop, Gamma-OH, and Jungle Juice.

GHB Effects: At lower doses, GHB has a euphoric effect similar to alcohol and can make the user feel relaxed, happy, and sociable. Higher doses can make the drug user feel dizzy, sleepy, and can sometimes cause vomiting, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness.

Overdoses will always cause a loss of consciousness (temporary coma) and will slow down breathing. Sometimes, and particularly if mixed with alcohol, GHB can slow down breathing to a dangerously low rate, which has caused a number of deaths.

GHB Description: GHB is a central nervous system depressant used as an intoxicant. It is sold in small bottles. It has also been found in powder and capsule forms. It is classified as a sedative-hypnotic and was originally developed as a sleep-aid.

The substance is frequently represented as a date-rape drug, much in the same way as alcohol and Rohypnol. It is occasionally referred to as liquid ecstasy because of its tendency to produce euphoria and sociability and its use in the dance party scene. Nonetheless, the effects of GHB are quite different from those of MDMA (ecstasy).

GHB usually comes as an odorless liquid. The sodium salt of GHB has a thin, salty, chemical taste. At low doses, GHB can create a state of euphoria, raised libido, increased sociability, and intoxication. This kind of use is especially usual at rave parties. At higher quantities, GHB might induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, agitation, visual disturbances, depressed breathing, amnesia, and unconsciousness. The effects of GHB can last from 1.5 to three hours or even longer if big doses have been used, or if it is mixed with alcohol. Consumption among athletes and bodybuilders is also known, as GHB is thought to raise growth hormone release; there is some evidence supporting these claims but actual efficacy for this purpose is unclear.

Usually, the doses used recreational are between 500 mg and 3000 mg, corresponding to about 0.5-3 mL of liquid if the concentration is 1 gram / 1 mil (which is not always the case). When used as a recreational substance, GHB may be found as a pure liquid, or as GHB salt dissolved in water, normally at a standardized concentration of one gram / one mL and so is twice the strength of the Xyrem solution sold legally for medical use.

Certain chemicals convert to GHB in the stomach and blood. GBL, or gamma-butyrobetaine, is one such pro substance. Other pro-drugs include 1,4-butanediol. There might be additional toxicity issues with these precursors. 1,4-B and GBL are usually found as pure liquids, even though they may be mixed with other more harmful solvents when intended for industrial use, e.g. as paint stripper or varnish thinner.


GHB addiction is less common in Canada than other street drugs, but is nonetheless, a problem that should be taken care of. GHB addiction started being a problem in Canada towards the 90s, especially within the rave and club communities. In 2005, a study revealed that 0.5 % of the students had used GHB in the last year. Even if they don’t use it frequently, they can still develop an addiction to it. In British Columbia, GHB is used a lot within the rave community.
In Ontario, they made a few drug-abuse surveys, especially in Toronto. In 2003, the Toronto students were asked about GHB consumption within the last year. The rate was 1 %, which was actually the same as in 2001. This goes to show that there is some stability where GHB abuse and GHB addiction are concerned, but also shows that there has been no decrease over the last few years. In the whole province of Ontario, they also did a survey on students and found that 0.7 of them had used GHB, with a number of boys slightly higher than girls.

In the city of Montreal, Quebec, there was a study made within the rave community in 2002. It was found that 18.6 % of them had used GHB during their lives. And of those, there were 28.2 % had used it recently and so had a risk of developing a GHB addiction.

GHB is sometimes used on people in raves parties to induce sleep and so rapes have been known to happen because of this “date rape” drug. However, it is often used as a recreational drug. Other illegal drugs are also often taken within that community.

GHB is illegal in Montreal, Quebec, and Canada.


GHB detox can take effect within hours after use and can last for one to two days, depending on the amount taken. In some cases, medications are given to help counteract the effects, keeping the person calm during detox. Normally, when monitored all throughout the day and night, there will be no immediate problems with detoxification.

Most drug rehab centers are equipped to handle GHB detoxification. In the more severe cases where a person has previous medical or health problems, doctor or medical supervision will be necessary.

The GHB addiction withdrawal symptoms have been compared to the ones of alcohol. The heavy users, those who are using the drug every two to three hours within a 24-hour period, are more likely to experience the severe withdrawal symptoms.

GHB withdrawal symptoms can occur immediately after the drug has been stopped. These symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors

Unfortunately, these symptoms can rapidly progress into delirium for the user and will take effect within hours after use.

Most GHB withdrawal symptoms can last for 1 to 24 hours; however, it can progress to 1 to 6 days and even go further to 7 to 14 days. When it has reached this point, medical attention should be sought right away.

Long-term use will cause the following symptoms to increase in intensity:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Vomiting

GHB withdrawal can be managed properly at a well-staffed GHB drug rehab, drug treatment, and/or GHB detox center. In most cases, medical detox is required; however, this depends on the frequency and amount taken. Other signs and symptoms have also been known to appear after the drug usage has been stopped. Such as:

  • Anorexia
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nightmares
  • Impaired concentration
  • Delusions
  • Elevated temperature
  • Dehydration

One of the most dangerous symptoms of GHB withdrawal is when the users experience no willingness to eat or keep hydrated. In most cases, a person will have to be on an IV to keep themselves hydrated. The GHB detox centers in Canada will help you or someone you love to become GHB drug-free.


GHB withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness,
  • Coma or death

These adverse effects will subside after 2 – 21 days depending on the frequency of usage and the amount used. In some severe cases, withdrawal from GHB may cause symptoms similar to acute withdrawal from alcohol or barbiturates (delirium tremens) and can lead to convulsions and hallucinations. Even though there have been reported deaths due to GHB withdrawal, reports are inconclusive and further research is needed. Unlike alcohol, there is no firm information that GHB addiction creates permanent damage to the body. In rats, no organ or brain damages were seen after regular administration of GBL (a precursor to GHB).


GHB is a date-rape drug that causes big problems in Canada. In the last decade alone, GHB was seized a lot more often within the country, the statistics being four hundred percent higher than before 1999. And the consequences that GHB brings along are very alarming because the drug induces a loss of consciousness and a memory loss. In Canada, it is illegal to possess GHB, and it is considered a federal offense. The sentence for such a crime can go up to three years of imprisonment. This is why those addicted to GHB need to attend a drug rehab center and get rid of their addiction before they hit rock bottom.

GHB is an illegal drug that has been abused over the years. Nowadays, it is called the date-rape drug. It can be found in various forms. The most commonly used form is a salt. GHB can be found in very minute quantities in some beers or wines because of the fermentation process. GHB first made an appearance in the 1960s in some European countries and was used solely for its medicinal properties. However, nowadays, because of its addictive nature, medical use has declined radically over the past decades. However, there are still some people who are addicted to GHB and have trouble quitting, they need a drug rehab center to care for them and get them off the drug. And they also need to be in the right drug rehab program for them.

Some of the symptoms with which you can identify a GHB addict are:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Death

If one stops using GHB after having been physically addicted to it, some of the following symptoms will occur:

  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Being edgy

Those symptoms can last for up to three weeks depending upon the situation and the extent of the addiction. This why we say it is important for the person undergoing these symptoms to be supervised by professionals in a drug treatment center.


In instances of regular or prolonged GHB use and addiction, an additional anecdotal symptom is occasionally noted, consisting of a form of dyskinesia similar to tardive dyskinesia, manifested in involuntary jaw-clacking, or a tick that presents in spontaneous clicking sounds. This symptom frequently takes longer to dissipate than the instantaneous GHB withdrawal symptoms, probably indicating a different mechanism of action from that of direct withdrawal. This is also supported by reports of the dyskinesia developing concurrently with active GHB use in regular users (particularly in those who co-administer the drug with amphetamines).


Since about 1990, GHB (gamma- hydroxybutyrate) has been abused in the U.S.A. for euphoric, sedative, and anabolic (bodybuilding) effects. As with Rohypnol and Clonazepam, the consumption of GHB has been associated with sexual assaults in cities throughout the country. Reports from Detroit indicate liquid GHB is being used in nightclubs for effects similar to those of Rohypnol. It is also common in the club scene in Phoenix, Honolulu, and Texas, where it is known as “liquid ecstasy,” “somatomax,” “scoop,” or “grievous bodily harm.” In Miami, poison control center calls have reflected problems associated with increased GHB use, including loss of consciousness.

In New York City, there have been reports of GHB use among those in the fashion industry. In Atlanta, it is commonly used as a synthetic steroid at fitness centers and gyms. Coma and seizures can occur following abuse of GHB and when combined with methamphetamine, there appears to be an increased risk of seizure. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. Because of concern about Rohypnol, GHB, and other similarly abused sedative-hypnotics, Congress passed the “Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996” in October 1996. This legislation increased Federal penalties for use of any controlled substance to aid in sexual assault.

GHB Street Use: usually ingested in a liquid mixture; most commonly mixed with Alcohol.

GHB Dependency: rare due to rapid elimination. GHB Dependence may occur with excessive use.

GHB can be physically addictive and might result in psychological addiction. Physical dependence occurs when GHB is used regularly (i.e. every 2-4 hours for multiple consecutive days or weeks).

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