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GHB

What is GHB?

What does it look like?

GHB (Gamma hydroxybutyrate) can be produced in clear liquid, white powder, tablet, and capsule forms. It is colorless and odorless. GHB has a salty taste; however it is often diluted in liquids and virtually undetectable. GHB is often manufactured in homes with recipes and kits found and purchased on the Internet. GHB is made from a combination of gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. These substances are more commonly used as floor stripping solvents and drain cleaners.

How is it used?

In powder form, measuring a dose is fairly straightforward. In liquid form, GHB comes in a wide variety of concentrations with a single dose ranging from a few drops to a full glass. Body builders have been known to abuse GHB to stimulate muscle growth. The drug is also commonly abused as a recreational drug, particularly among partygoers on the club scene.

What are its short-term effects?

At lower doses, GHB can relieve anxiety and produce relaxation. Combining use with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea, loss of muscle control and difficulty breathing. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating.

What are its long-term effects?

As the dose increases, the sedative effects may result in sleep and eventual coma or death. Other effects include difficulty thinking, hallucinations, slurred speech, headaches and amnesia. GHB has reportedly been used in cases of date rape. Because GHB is odorless and tasteless, it can be slipped into someone’s drink without detection.

What is its federal classification?

Schedule I
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

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