Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) on Steroids Rx.com
|Gamma hydroxybutyrate is a central nervous depressant which has become quite popular over the past 2 decades. The chemical is illegal sold all over the country and has built a false reputation as a bodybuilder, euphoriant and an aphrodisiac. The cyberspace is full of claims by bodybuilders that GHB can help breakdown fat and only build up lean muscle. GHB is also a frequently used by individuals at all night parties and raves and there have been a number of reports of it being used as a date rape drug.|
GHB is widely available over the internet and even sold in many health food stores and pharmacies. There have been warnings by the FDA regarding GHB, but its use continues unabated.
|The use of GHB started somewhere in the early 90s and first became popular in the Southern and Western parts of the country. Over the next few years, GHB related complications were increasingly being seen in emergency rooms all over the country. However, in most cases the cause of overdose was due to multiple drug ingestion. GHB is often abused together with marijuana, ecstasy, alcohol and cocaine. Even though there has been a decline in the adverse effects of GHB in recent years, the consumption is still high.|
GHB use is highest among the younger population and young adults.
GHB was developed for its calming actions but over time it was realized that the chemical had the ability to induce sleep. However the drug has no analgesic activity and the onset of sleep was often associated with seizure like activity around the face and hands.
Soon, GHB was also widely available in the health food stores as a growth hormone supplement. The bodybuilders jumped on to this drug in the belief that the drug could increase muscles mass. GHB was banned by the FDA many years ago because of its adverse side effects in individuals who were using it as a health supplement. However, its use continues unabated and the product is still widely available.
Use by bodybuilders
|The number of bodybuilders who use GHB is not known for sure, but there are plenty. The majoity of these individuals only take GHB based on the word of other athletes. Infact, there is no evidence that GHB can help one increase muscle mass or improve exercise performance.|
Studies on GHB and its affects on the body are lacking. There is some evidence that GHB may increase levels of Growth hormone, but these studies are not always reproducible. And the dose of GHB required for such an effect is quite high. There are only anecdotal reports of weight gain with GHB. The problem is that bodybuilders take so many other drugs it is difficult to know which drug is responsible for the muscle mass increase. At least in animal studies, there is no muscle mass build up. Infact all the animals become obese.
Side effects and toxicity
|GHB is not a safe drug and there have been many cases of accidental deaths. The drug is manufactured in Clandestine Laboratories and the quality of the product is extremely variable. In many cases, the product has been contaminated with other drugs and supplements. The dose range between safe and toxic is very narrow and typical side effects occur within 15 minutes after ingestion.|
Side effects of GHB
|There is a lot of evidence that regular consumption of GHB can result in physical dependence. Most individuals develop this dependence after using the chemical regularly for 3-5 weeks. Once GHB is discontinued the withdrawal symptoms include the following:|
If nothing is done, the withdrawal symptoms decrease in 3-21 days but do depend on the dose and frequency of GHB usage. Some cases of GHB withdrawal can be simialr to reactions seen after withdrawal from alcohol. Convulsions and hallucinations can occur and often require emergency treatment.
Treatment of overdose
The drug has received a lot of press lately mainly from the health care professional. This is because there have been many case reports of individuals being admitted to hospital emergency rooms following ingestion of the drug. Poisoning by GHB continues to occur and each year several deaths are reported.
If GHB overdose has occurred, then a visit to the hospital ER is a must. The treatment is primarily supportive. This includes watching the breathing and vital signs. If the ingestion is fresh, sometimes activated charcoal is pumped into the stomach to bind the GHB so it won’t be absorbed. In most cases, the individual is monitored for several days.
An analogue of GHB, sodium oxybate (Xyrem) has been approved for the treatment of narcolepsy. It can decrease daytime sleepiness and reduce the muscle attacks. The drug is only available with a prescription and its use is controlled.
Asides from legal medical use, GHB is also used to induce hallucinations, euphoria, and sleep aid. For illegal use, GHB is easily obtained at health food stores, gyms, and mail order outlets.
GHB use is very prevalent in the dance music scene (at raves and nightclubs) as an alternative to "ecstasy" and amphetamines. It is often used in combination with alcohol and other illicit drugs like marijuana. It has been implicated, with flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), as a "date rape" drug.
GHB is one of the easiest chemicals to synthesize. The manufacture of GHB is a multi-million dollar industry and the business of selling the final product is very lucrative.
GHB is synthesized from the precursor, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). GBL is a solvent found in numerous household products including floor cleaning products, nail polish, varnishes, and superglue removers. Combining the lactone with sodium hydroxide results in formation of GHB. However, this simple method does have many problems including the presence of large amount of lye in the mixture. Ingestion of lye can cause severe burns of the throat and stomach. GBL can also be converted to GHB in the body. GBL is more bioavailable and more potent than GHB on an equimolar basis.
GHB is available as a liquid, tablet or powder. On the street, GHB generally is sold as powder or mixed with water. The liquid form is usually very concentrated and sold on the street in small vials. The vials generally cost about $10 and usually contain about 10 "hits".
Although the manufacture and sale of GBH is now illegal, it is sometimes available for purchase through the internet and at health food stores under several brand names, including Firewater, Revivarant, Blue Nitro Vitality, GH Revitalizer, Gamma G, and Remforce. GHB distribution is now banned in most states. The FDA issued a warning notice requesting manufacturers to recall GBL-containing products in Jan, 1999 and also warned consumers not to purchase or use GBL products. The story of GHB is not over since several manufacturers have begun marketing 1, 4-butanediol (BD), a chemical that is metabolized to GHB in the body by the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. The FDA has declared BD a Class I Health Hazard (i.e., a potentially life-threatening drug).
Today GHB is classified as a schedule 1 drug under the controlled substance act.
GHB is a dangerous drug and associated with serious side effects. The product has no medical uses and its sale is forbidden in the USA. The drug is still used by a number of bodybuilders, but with time the likelihood of side effects is very high. From all the present evidence we have, GHB does not have any ability to develop muscle mass.
Common street names of GHB
|Cherry fX bombs|
|Easy lay Everclear|
|Goops Nature's quaalude|
Great hormones at bedtime
|Grievous bodily harm|
|Growth hormone booster|
Lemon fX drops
|Orange fX rush|
|Poor man's heroin|
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