We know we're going to nailed for even mentioning GHB as consensus is Just Say No. However, years past experience on drug helpines taught us one thing: just say know. Sadly, that's easier said than done as there's very little info around on the scene. So, when a friend said he'd done some and wondered when it was safe to have a drink we (after the 5-minute lecture that never works) didn't have a clue. Regular users all gave different answers. We worried how we'd deal with him if he went ga ga? What do you do?
Well, dealing with people overdosing and some facts are below. Take the time to read read on what to do if your mate does end up taking the stuff and passing out...
DD SAYS: We know people who have a fine old time on it. However, we really discourage you from using it. On a simple practical level it's problematic to do the right dose without a syringe and certainty about its strength. The process is fraught with room for error form noting the wrong time to mixing up each others glasses - if you're even doing that. So, it's incredibly simple to make mistakes and those mistakes can cost you your life. We offer this info in the hope of saving lives, Damaged does not endorse this annoying scene destroying drug. At the end of the day you're drinking cleaning fluid.
Here is a guide courtesy of http://everything2.com/title/GHB. It is offered in good faith but we take no responsibility for its accuracy. Feel free to leave a comment with links to more info if you know of any good sites.
Advice on treating a GHB overdose
Note: this is just opinion and experience.
Do not sedate. As noted above under combining, the combination could cause problems. A patient who has had too much GHB is sedated already, if they are still conscious. By far the most common problem with GHB is a person collapsing or passing out.
Find out if alcohol is involved. If the patient was sober and the dose of GHB was not severely large, there is little likelihood of problems. If the patient was very drunk, or consumed a very large amount of GHB, they are in danger. If there was moderate or unknown alcohol use, you'll have to rely on the next point.
Check the vital signs. Weak breathing and heart are danger signs. The most common cause of death is respiratory arrest. If the vital signs are strong and you are sure that no alcohol was involved, the patient can be left in safe place to sleep it off. In other cases, continued observation or hospitalisation will be required. It's your call but do it.
GHB is a Central Nervous System depressant, and treatment is different from a stimulant overdose (e.g. Ecstasy or speed overdose). In many ways the treatment is opposite - keep the patient warm rather than cool.
Recovery Position. Always keep unconscious people in a position where they can puke without problem! This means that they should be lying on their side not on their back.
Once someone is unconscious from GHB, they are out cold. They cannot hear you, and cannot be woken before the GHB wears off. This can take 3-4 hours.
Inducing vomiting may not be useful - GHB comes in liquid form and is thus quickly absorbed
Street Names: GHB, Gamma-OH, Liquid Ecstacy, Fantasy, GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm), Georgia Home Boy, Georgia Home Brew, etc.
Chemical Name: Gamma-Hydroxy Butyrate, Sodium Oxybate.
Chemical data: Formula is C4H8O3.Na It is a Sodium salt. The equivalent salt with Potassium instead is also found, and is essentially the same drug. GHB is a white crystalline solid at room temperature, but is hygroscopic and soluble in water, and is more commonly found in solution.
Description: A clear liquid. Usually sold in a small bottle, which contains several doses. Also found as a white powder.
The most favourable description of the taste is "old seawater". Though there are worse tastes, very few people grow to liking the taste of GHB. The rest just grimace and exclaim that it tastes a bit rotten. The taste can't be mistaken for water.
Effects: Intoxication, increased energy, happiness, talking, desire to socialize, feeling affectionate and playful, mild disinhibition, sensuality, enhanced sexual experience, muscle relaxation, loss of coordination due to loss of muscle tone, possible nausea, difficulty concentrating.
Sleep is possible. Music is enhanced - changes in volume and tones can be more noticeable. No hallucinations or trippy visual effects occur. GHB makes you extrovert rather than introspective and self-analytic. You will go out and enjoy yourself and chat to your friends, not sit in a corner thinking about yourself.
Many people have bad reactions These can include nausea, headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, amnesia, vomiting, loss of muscle control, respiratory problems, loss of consciousness, being conscious but unable to move.
Effects of large doses: Sedation, desire to sleep, difficulty thinking, giddiness, slurred, rambling or incoherent speech, silliness, disinhibition, regrettable behaviour.
Effects of overdose: Sleep or deep sedation, "GHB coma" from which you cannot be awakened by any means for about three hours. Slowed heart and breathing.
Duration: A dose of GHB takes from 5 to 20 minutes to have its full effect. The effects last one and a half to three hours.
GHB is an illegal drug in many countries including the USA (except for the Xyrem thing). As with many drugs, this is the biggest danger to users.
What does it feel like?
A few minutes after taking GHB, you get this feeling like you a few minutes ago you downed your first shot of whiskey on an empty stomach, and now it's happening. Your head is moving and your hands are tingling.
GHB feels a bit like Ecstasy and a bit like alcohol. It makes you happy, relaxed and intoxicated.
GHB lacks the most of the nasty comedown effects or hangover of alcohol and other relaxation-oriented drugs if used in moderate doses. In fact, many users report feeling particularly refreshed, even energized, the next day.
There are very few after-effects from GHB, though users have reported feeling groggy the day after a long session, and feeling run down and tired after several days of daily heavy use.
GHB can enhance the experience of sex, among other experiences. GHB is claimed to have aphrodisiac effects, notably: disinhibition, heightening of the sense of touch (tactility), enhancement of male erectile capacity, and increased intensity of orgasm.
Safer GHB use
There are simple rules for a safer GHB experience:
Know how much GHB you are taking. The concentration of street drugs varies. Know how strong your GHB is. Try a little first if you are not sure. Stronger GHB than usual can knock you out.
Know how much GHB you are capable of taking. People's responses to GHB vary greatly. Know what your limit is. If you take more than this, you could pass out.
Don't drink alcohol with GHB. This is toxic, and could kill you.
Don't use GHB all the time. Because GHB use has so few aftereffects, there is a temptation is to use it every weekend, or every evening, or even all the time. Keep it for special occasions - you don't want your pastime to become a habit. GHB is not powerfully addictive (like say, crack, crystal meth, heroin or nicotine), but addiction to anything nice is possible for some.
Correct dosage is very important with GHB. People's responses to GHB vary, and tolerance builds up but is soon lost, so it's difficult to tell how much to take. There's no need to down the whole bottle in one gulp - this is dangerous. Know how much you can take. Start small. Take capfuls or small sips.
Don't do GHB if your intention is to get as fucked as possible. GHB is not a strong drug. It comes in two strengths - mild and too much- beware of the fine line between them! Too many small sips can add up to too much.
If you down a dose of GHB and then take another before the first one has taken effect (20 minutes) you are also asking for trouble.
GHB makes some people nauseous - sometimes to the point of gut-wrenching puking. If you have not had it before and don't know you will react to it, try a very small amount (half a teaspoon) first. You will know within 20 minutes.
Many people also find that GHB is not for them. Some people experience nausea, sluggishness, dizziness, among other negative side effects. Listen to your body and heed its warning signals.
Too much GHB makes you pass out into a deep sleep from which you cannot be wakened for several hours. This is not dangerous but could cause unnecessary panic and hospitalisation. You will wake up in 3 hours or so, feeling fine, with no memory of anything being wrong - in fact no memory at all of 3 hours passing.
If you take GHB, make sure your friends know what the score is - even experienced users have misjudged the dose and passed out unexpectedly. I'm sure that you'd rather have someone there who will make sure that you are comfortable and your wallet is not stolen while you are out.
A lethal dose of GHB is estimated to be over half a kilogram of powdered GHB (the LD50 is 12 grams of GHB per kilogram of body weight). A GHB fan claims: "GHB is so non-toxic that one person who "accidentally" took 15 tablespoons woke up 24 hours later, feeling sedated with a headache--but no other negative effects--and recovered completely within hours upon awakening. "
A report on hospitalisations due to GHB noted: "more severe reactions...generally occurred when patients took an unmeasured dose, a particularly large dose, or several doses within a short period of time."
However some claim that "3-4 times the normal dose can make you unconscious and vomiting" - a very dangerous combination!
Combining drugs is risky - each individual will have a different response. Some combinations can be very dangerous.
GHB with alcohol can be fatal.
GHB, like alcohol and other depressants, tends to cancel out against stimulants such as cocaine and speed, and the depressant effects are not felt as strongly.
Users have mixed reports on mixing GHB with hallucinogens such as LSD or Magic Mushrooms. GHB is not usually used whilst high on other drugs such as LSD or Ecstasy, but it is often used afterwards because it relaxes stiff muscles, and to delay the inevitable comedown. It works, but you have to come down some time.
GHB should not be used with benzodiazepines ("minor tranquillisers" such as Valium and Xanax), phenothiazines ("major tranquillisers" like Thorazine and Stellazine), various painkillers (barbiturates and opiates), alcohol, anticonvulsants (Dilantin and Phenobarbital) and even many over-the-counter allergy and sleep remedies. As with alcohol, the depressant and respiratory suppressing effects are dangerously amplified.
How soon after alcohol is it safe to take GHB? Depends how much you drank. Essentially, you should sober up and get over the hangover before you think about it. For one beer, maybe six hours. For a strong booze bender, call it 24 hours.