Gamma Hydroxybutyrate or GHB, commonly referred to as ‘club drug’ or ‘date rape drug’, is a controlled substance used as an intoxicant at bars, parties, raves, and clubs. It is a central nervous system depressant that is considered to induce intense euphoria and sex drive. It is sometimes referred to as liquid ecstasy due to its supposed aphrodisiac qualities. It is mild salty in flavor yet odorless and odurless.
A Brief History of GHB
In the early 1960s, GHB was first synthesized and discovered by Dr. Henri-Marie Laborit who was a brilliant French physician. GHB was generally utilized in the parts of France, Italy, and other European nations for quite a few years as a sleep inducer and an anesthetic for pregnant women in labor, yet issues with its mishandling potential and advancement of more current medications have prompted a reduction in the utilization of GHB in the medicine. GHB was soon dismissed by the American medicine community as the issues related to the medication became visible. It again reemerged in 1987 as a treatment for narcolepsy. In the meantime, weightlifters took up the medication because of its notoriety for upgrading the arrival of growth hormone amid rest. However, in 1990, because of the developing number of overdoses, GHB was requested to be taken off the racks. Today, GHB and its analogs like BD, which are more open, are known for their recreational activities.
Effects & Health Hazards
GHB can be very detrimental to the health, yet its effects like intense euphoria, increased sex drive, and tranquility are the reasons people recreationally use this drug. It can also induce a large number of negative implications on the body not limited to sweating and loss of consciousness, nausea, headaches, vomiting, exhaustion, sluggishness, amnesia, confusion, clumsiness, and auditory and visual hallucinations. If used repeatedly, it may have severe withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia tremors, anxiety and depression. On the other hand, it is usually administrated in liquid form with alcohol which can cause many problems in the body. Some of the reported complications due to its use with alcohol and other hypnotics include nausea, vomiting and aspiration, and dangerous CNS and respiratory depression.
At a higher dose, the effects are even more drastic. It may result in profound sedation, coma, seizures and respiratory depression.
The rise of GHB use has lead to a ban on certain chemicals used for manufacturing GHB. As a result, dealers have been reported to substitute GHB with gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-Butanediol (both of which are used as cleaning solvents and glue remover). The following GHB test kit can be used to determine whether a substance is actually GHB.