GHB stands for gamma hydroxybutyrate, a central nervous
system sedative often referred to by other names such
as "Grievous Bodily Harm", "Liquid Ecstasy"
GHB was once sold in health food stores as a performance
enhancer for body builders because it was believed to
stimulate the production of human growth hormone. In
1990, the FDA banned the use of GHB because of reports
of severe, uncontrollable side effects.
GHB can produce drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness,
seizures, severe respiratory depression, and coma. Overdose
of GHB can occur quickly and can be fatal. In the USA
since 1990, there have been 5,700 documented cases of
GHB abuse and more than 30 reported sexual assaults
and 65 deaths attributed to this drug.
Most of the GHB used today is a "homemade"
mix of various chemical ingredients, including solvents.
Homemade GHB is dangerous in part because there are
significant differences in potency, purity, and concentration.
The same amount taken from two separate batches can
have very different effects.
GHB is available both in liquid and powder forms