GHB or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate – An Overview

GHB or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate is an illicit depressant drug commonly known as the club drug or date rape. It is commonly used by young adults and teens at public outings such as at parties or in bars amongst other sociable places. Taken in moderate amounts GHB can cause side effects of euphoria, an increased urge for sex, and your sense of touch becomes much more sensitive. It can also make the user feel relaxed, drowsy, and their sense of inhibition decreases.

Overdosing in GHB can cause the user to sweat a lot, lose consciousness, experience nausea, hallucinations, amnesia, seizures, vomiting, respiratory arrest, memory lapses, tremors, loss of coordination, and even death. The drug takes about fifteen minutes to take effect and can last for up to about three hours. When withdrawing from GHB it takes about twelve hours from the last time the user used GHB for the symptoms to start and will last for about fifteen days.

GHB comes in three forms: colourless, odorless, bitter or salty liquid, coloured liquid, or as a crystal or powder.

It is because of its effects and form it is commonly used to spike drinks, as it makes the victim more vulnerable and open to sexual assault which is why it’s known as date rape on the streets. In the 1960s GHB was used as an anesthetic and in the 1980’s it was used as a dietary supplement and bodybuilding product. That was until in 1990 it was made as an illicit drug under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in March 2000 was placed into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

GHB is only legal when it’s being prescribed in its brand product form known as Xyrem and is then placed under Schedule III.

From my research, I feel that the FDA making GHB an illicit drug was an excellent decision and that it can only be used per being prescribed for extreme personal health issues. If used under watch and key it can be beneficial, but we still need to keep in mind that it has the potential to cause effects ranging from amnesia to respiratory arrest, and even falling into a coma if used for more than its prescribed dosage. Under moderation it can be used to help people who are generally shy in public become more outgoing because it makes them feel relaxed, it also makes them more vulnerable to being sexually assaulted as the drug brings their guard down. As a prescription under an FDA approved physician it can help someone who is suffering from say extreme depression, anxiety, or stress. But by the same token if the user becomes addicted to its effects they can lie to their physician and fake their symptoms to have more for themselves and perhaps to use or sell to others. So I believe anyone who is prescribed this should be under constant supervision in the likely possibility that they accidentally become addicted.

In my first paragraph I described how the drug is most commonly used by young adults and teens. Under the constant stress of having to balance work, school, and home life I can see how easy it can be for teens and young adults to fall under the influence of GHB. Under its influence teens can find that escape from their stressful lives they’ve been looking for. It’s also during this time that teens like to experiment and are more susceptible to influence. Knowing that the drug increases your sexual drive, makes you far more sensitive to touch, and relaxes you teens would also most likely take GHB before they have their first time having sex with say their boyfriend or girlfriend. By taking the drug they hope that effects will help them please their partner and make the overall experience more enjoyable. But by the end of the day I still believe it isn’t worth it, as there are plenty of other and more healthier outlets teens can use to manage their stress and social problems. Things like joining class discussions, seeing a psychiatrist, going to the gym to blow off some steam, or even finding someone they trust and venting all their issues to them to get all that bottle frustration off their chest are all better ways to go about handling themselves.

What I don’t understand about GHB is how it could be used as a dietary supplement or as a bodybuilding product as discussed in paragraph one. When you work out, you want to make the most of each session. With GHB in your system, you feel drowsy and sometimes uncoordinated, which are two things you can’t have when working out. Usually, you want your body to be at full power so you know when you’ve hit your limit for the day, and when picking up weights you don’t want to be fumbling all over the place because the whole room seems to be spinning. Not only could you hurt yourself, but potentially anyone else who’s around you. Drugs have no place in the sports world or even in dietary health. Some athletes believe that by taking drugs they can do half the work and still acquire the same results they would while not on any drugs. But tricking your body into thinking it can do more or take on more tension will only make things worse in the long run and will they will find that it will take double, if not triple the original time to retrain your body the right way.

GHB can easily influence anyone in the graphic design profession that I’m studying for. With constant or multiple projects being given at once with short deadlines, dealing with clients who may change their mind constantly or wanting something made that makes no sense design-wise, having to make sure designs follow set industry and government policies, and constantly having your work being criticized can be a very overwhelming and stressful job. Taking GHB a graphic designer would be able to feel more at ease when working, and depending on the dosage may even be able to focus more on their work and worry less about criticism. Usually, when any designer is overly stressed they don’t always think the straightest which is why they will take constant breaks so they come back to their design with a fresh pair of eyes. But if they are always in a state of relaxation they can crank more work out and in their eyes maybe even design better. So GHB is a job that could influence the ranks of my profession.

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