This is the FAQ for GHB (the stuff that supposedly
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What is GHB?
In the past few months GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) has become a
staple drug in the underground scene. All but replacing Ecstasy (MDMA),
it's now on the forefront of what seems like a new drug revolution.
It has even been dubbed "liquid ecstasy." It's highly concentrated
street form is available as a liquid in small plastic bottles, about the size
and shape of a hotel shampoo bottle. One dosage is usually a capful. There
are approximately 9 hits per bottle, and at $10 a bottle, not only is this
drug potent, it's very cheap as well.
GHB's relation to MDMA is uncanny, but some say its effects are more
like a hybrid of acid and ecstasy. Despite its relatedness though, it's
chemical composition is a far cry from that of X. Ecstasy is in the chemical
family of amphetamines, GHB is not. The analogy between the two probably stems
from the physical effects the drug has on the user. Both enhance the sense
of touch greatly, causing the user the desire to touch and feel.
The sedative effects of the drug are also worth mentioning, as it can
be very strong. Quite often, with a sufficient dose, the user can nod off
completely and go to sleep or find themselves in a state of unmovable [sic]
helplessness. To some, this is unpleasant because the brain is functioning
quite rapidly but they don't have much control over what they can do
physically. Several ephedrine or a rail of amphetamines have been used to
counteract this effect with much success, causing a very happy and ecstatic
high. This combination of GHB and speed are for many the only way they will
take the drug.
The history of GHB is very interesting. Developed almost a decade ago,
it's [sic] initial purpose was an alternative anaesthetic to be used for
surgery and medical operations. Due to the unpredicatable qualities of the
drug and its obvious side effects, it was soon discarded by the medical
community at large. Later, other doctors realized that it was a very strong
growth hormone stimulate and was then promoted for muscle growth, weight loss
and dieting. This caught on very big in the body building community and
before long every health food store had a good supply of it. During the late
'80s, it's [sic] overwhelming popularity among body builders incited increased
medical testing to further study the effects of the drug. During these tests,
they found that it was a very powerful neurotransmitter, increasing the
dopamine level in the central nervous system. This caused an upset, and in
1991 the FDA had it classified as _Narcotics_1_, restricting its use to
licensed researchers only and made it a misdemeanor to possess or sell it.
The negative effects of GHB are documented, although I have little
knowlege of any of these things happening. _Epileptic_Grand_Mal_Seizures_
sometimes occur under high dosages of the drug. Coma has also been known
to occur. The addictive qualities are unknown, but I have yet to meet any
"GHB Junkies." A few weeks ago at a club in L.A., a girl died while on GHB
and several other drugs. Because of the mix of drugs, it's hard to attribute
it to any one thing. GHB may have played a part in her death.
Another thing to consider with this drug is it's [sic] unpredictability
with certain individuals. A half hit to one person may seem like 5 or 6 hits
to another. Because of this, great caution and care should be taken while
experimenting with this drug. Don't overdo it!
The fact that GHB was made illegal is not surprising. But it serves as
further evidence that consciousness-expanding practices are not tolerated and
[are] seen as a direct threat to the establishment. Yet the establishment will
not look deeper to find the benefits or revelance such drugs can have. The ban
on drugs like GHB exhibits the lack of control we have over our own bodies and
minds. _Remember,_drug_use_is_a_personal_choice_. You choose. Food for
--- Cohry O.
In a previous article (Brian Behlendorf (Vitamin B)) has written:
> This article was in last month's issue of Urb magazine (#26) - is this
>a late April Fool's joke or something real? All I can say is I haven't heard
>it mentioned here or among anyone I know....
I just poked Medline for the following info. Apparently the name
is exactly correct and it DOES have abuse potential. As far as
it being an MDMA substitute- I doubt this material has that potential,
especially with respect to therapeutic applications.
Joseph A Tucker
MED-> f kw gamma hydroxy butyrate
Search request: F KW GAMMA HYDROXY BUTYRATE
Search result: 5 citations in the Medline database
Type D to display; D LOC <campus> to see locations; HELP for more detail.
MED-> d short ab
Search request: F KW GAMMA HYDROXY BUTYRATE
Search result: 5 citations in the Medline database
Type HELP for other display options.
1. Lane RB.
Gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB) [letter; comment].
Jama, 1991 Jun 12, 265(22):2959.
Pub type: Comment; Letter.
2. Gamma hydroxy butyrate poisoning.
Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 1991 Jan 25, 33(836):8.
3. From the Centers for Disease Control. Multistate outbreak of poisonings
associated with illicit use of gamma hydroxy butyrate [see comments].
Jama, 1991 Jan 23-30, 265(4):447-8.
4. Multistate outbreak of poisonings associated with illicit use of gamma
Mmwr. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 1990 Nov 30, 39(47):861-3.
5. Fisher RS.
Animal models of the epilepsies.
Brain Research. Brain Research Reviews, 1989 Jul-Sep, 14(3):245-78.
Pub type: Journal Article; Review; Review, Academic.
Abstract: The study of mechanisms of the epilepsies requires employment of
animal models. Choice of a model system depends upon several factors,
including the question to be studied, the type of epilepsy to be modelled,
familiarity and convenience. Over 50 models are reviewed. Major categories
of models are those for simple partial seizures: topical convulsants, acute
electrical stimulation, cortically implanted metals, cryogenic injury; for
complex partial seizures: kainic acid, tetanus toxin, injections into area
tempesta, kindling, rodent hippocampal slice, isolated cell preparations,
human neurosurgical tissue; for generalized tonic-clonic seizures:
genetically seizure-prone strains of mouse, rat, gerbil, fruitfly and
baboon, maximal electroshock seizures, systemic chemical convulsants,
metabolic derangements; and for generalized absence seizures: thalamic
stimulation, bilateral cortical foci, systemic penicillin,
gamma-hydroxy-butyrate, intraventricular opiates, genetic rat models. The
lithium-pilocarpine, homocysteine and rapid repetitive stimulation models
are most useful in studies of status epilepticus. Key findings learned from
each of the models, the model's strengths and weaknesses are detailed.
Interpretation of findings from each of these models can be difficult. Do
results pertain to the epilepsies or to the particular model under study?
How important are species differences? Which clinical seizure type is
really being modelled? In a model are behavior or EEG findings only similar
superficially to epilepsy, or are the mechanisms comparable? The wealth of
preparations available to model the epilepsies underscores the need for
unifying themes, and for better understanding of basic mechanisms of the
From: dk104@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Herb Greene)
Subject: G H B
Date: 28 May 1993 18:29:21 GMT
Posted anonymously for my friend Frank. I will forward all replies.
Sorry for being anonymous but I wish to be too frank. I have been
doing some self experimentation with GHB that I would like to report.
GHB is gamma-hydroxy-butyrate (I think I spelled it right.) It is a
waxy and very hygroscopic solid. The literature shows results in
experiments using it as treatment for several things but the one that
caught my eye was its use with alcoholics. I am an alcoholic with a
perpetual fight to keep control. I do not abstain. I have a desire or
need to alter my conciousness in the evenings mostly that I don't wish
to speculate about. For the purpose of this discussion, for whatever
reason, that is a given.
The research results relate to its use in alcoholics as a treatment for
the effects of alcohol poisoning. A detox helper as it were. It seems
to aleviate many of the symptoms such as trembling and sweating. I
tried it out of curiousity and found the psychoactive effect to be
extremely pleasant. For me it satisfies virtually every reason that I
drink alcohol. The subjective experience is similar in a few regards.
Dizziness and disruption of motor control are equivalent to or worse
than alcohol for the equivalent buzz. That is about the only down
side. An astonishing thing for me though is that one is much less
likely to be foolish enough to attempt to drive or operate machinery
than one would with an equivalent motor disruption from alcohol. It
lacks the agressive quality that seems to make one feel capable with
This lack of agressive content is a very distinguishing difference
between it and alcohol in general. I tend to get nasty or fight easily
when on alcohol as do many and I think my own observation is likely to
be a general effect. One tends to get silly. One can become as
intoxicated as one wishes but I find I tend to modulate it much better
than alcohol which has a runaway effect with me.
It definitely acts as a disinhibitor similarly to alcohol. Talking is
facilitated but one retains a coherence that makes it a good deal more
meaningful than talk similarly facilitated with alcohol. I am also a
very good listner when high on GHB. It has an empathogenic quality.
Not nearly as profound as MDMA for example but in the same vein. I
feel it actually does facilitate communication that is more normal than
what alcohol provides. I am fairly buzzed at the moment and I will let
you judge my coherence.
I, as many alcoholics, turn to aclcohol particularly heavily when in
emotional pain due to loss, rejection and the like. I have found
though that it does not help a whit as much as we treat ourselves with
it for that pain. In fact alcohol causes depression and a deeper slide
into self pity and sorrow. GHB on the other hand does relieve such
pain to a remarkable degree. To a degree that I have found lasting. I
am saying that it may well be therapeutic for people in such a state.
I have two personal experiences with this effect.
Physiologically, and speaking only subjectively, it is much kinder than
alcohol. There does not appear to be any toxicity. No shaking, no
sweating, no weak knees or any of the symptoms we alcoholics have come
to know and love. And most miraculously, no hangover. On the contrary
I and others that I know who have experimented with it all agree that
one awakes feeling more rested than normal and in a far better mood the
morning after a GHB evening than an evening without. I know of no
toxicity studies at the dosages I take however and wish one of y'all
would take that on.
The dosage I take recreationally is about a half teaspoon. I haven't
weighed it. It comes on pretty fast, under a half an hour, and I will
usually take another half teaspoon within an hour and no more then for
several. It is long lasting, four to six hours of motor impairment.
It also makes one pee for some reason in the middle of the night which
I rarely do normally. One takes it mixed in a glass of warm to hot
water. It takes a few minutes to disolve and is sort of fun to watch
since it seriously messes with the index of refraction of water as it
It is fairly soporific and highly relaxing with a time dilating effect
similar to mushrooms but less profound. It is not at all psychedelic
or entactogenic. It is easy to go to sleep at any time after the
effects come on. It is sexually arousing in a very relaxed sort of way
but I find it difficult to climax. I can enjoy sex however for
prolonged periods. A friend of mine has an occasional incidence of
falling asleep during sex however. It doesn't bother him but it does
not thrill his wife. :-) I would definitely clasify it as a mild
aphrodesiac especially with its disinhibiting effect. I have not
"tried it out" on the unwary, however, to see if it would entice the
reluctant. I suspect, however, that it would and might even be useful
for sexual dysfunction brought on by stress or by anxiety about the act
itself in many of the myriad ways that can be caused.
To me its most profound effect is how it has changed my relationship to
alcohol. I struggle nightly with the desire to drink. I lose all too
frequently. I have controlled it for several years with antabuse when
I get a hangover two days in a row. If I have GHB available I have
*no* desire for alcohol. I would much rather use it for whatever it is
I use alcohol for. I have been using it regularly this round for about
two weeks and in that time have used alcohol to excess twice. Each
time I stopped short of going where I usually do with distinct feelings
of dysphoria. Like, why on earth did I do that and how long do I have
to wait for the effects of the alcohol to wear off? This is a new
experience for me with regard to alcohol. I am out of it as of tonight
with no chance for resupply for a while and I am interested to see if
this effect lasts.
This is my third or fourth round with it, this being the longest. I
have not experienced any sort of withdrawal symptoms when my supply is
removed. There is no excess craving or nervousness. It is much like
being cut off from marijuana. You miss it but so what. For me,
however, the effects are positive enough that I probably would use it
regularly if regularly available. I have used it in several small
groups without it being seriously noticed and the next time it is
available I wish to try it out in a bar or club setting. It should
*not* be mixed with alcohol. They each enhance the other and one feels
very inebriated very fast. It mixes well with pot.
I am now feeling near full effects of about a level teasoon. It is
sufficient. A friend uses much larger dosages. He had an experience
combining a fiarly large dose of GHB, probably three or four times my
dosage, and an amphetamine like stimulant. He lost all motor control,
couldn't even hold a glass. He scared the hell out of his wife who
thought he was lost to the world but internally he was having a
thouroughly delightful time bouncing between the stimulated state and
the soporific state.
I have decided that the next time I am able to obtain a signifignat
quantity I am going to give it to a very close woman friend that is
also struggling and losing with alcohol. I have told her all about it
so I am not talking dosing any one. I am not very comfortable with the
ethics of doing this since so damned little research has been done on
long term use but I see her life slipping away and I really think this
will help. She knows it is experimental and I have summarized the
research I have done and made the synopses of the papers available for
her to read herself. I would like feedback on this. Please keep your
flamethrowers on standby for a bit though and consider the alternatives
first. This person is not a candidate for any treatment program or
help group. Just out of the question for many reasons.
As far as treatment for alcoholism it first must be shown that it is
safe and then one must deal with the thorny issue of whether or not it
is ok to substitute one mind altering substance for another as
therapy. I know that the established alcohol treatment infrastructure
will not like that idea much at all.
Well, that's about it. I wish someone of you would do some kind of
controled research on this stuff. There seem to me to be many areas
that could be explored.
BTW The last half or so of this post was written while in a fairly
delightful state of mild alteration from GHB and it still has a bit
to come on yet.
From: email@example.com (Brian Sassone)
Subject: Re: G H B
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1993 22:05:37 GMT
In article <24.296.2252.0NB291CA@pcohio.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Rick Myers) writes:
>A friend of mine in Florida is doing a newspaper article on the
>rave scene, and he called me to ask if I'd ever heard of GHB...
>I hadn't... It's supposedly a big deal in LA, Vegas and NYC...
>All I know is it comes as a liquid, it's supposedly a hallucenogen,
>and there are allegedly no 'after effects'... Anyone tried this??
A friend of mine (in SF) accidently ingested a high dose (2-3 hits?) of
this that was in someone's beer. She said it was *very* intense. It only
lasted a few hours and as she came down, she started crying uncontrollably.
(However, she *had* just broken up with her boyfriend, so was already
emotionally disraught.) She likened the effects similar to MDMA as far as
empathy goes. She also said she lost partial motor-control as she kept
dropping things. She didn't have any significant lingering effects after
only 5-6 hours.
She was concerned the following week that it may have had some more subtle
lasting effects. She noticed seeing herself in the mirror as 'different';
like she had never seen herself that way before. However, she had also just
quit a long caffeine addiction (with high octane coffee) so this may also
have been a contributing factor. It's been a couple of weeks since then,
and she has ad no furhter evidence of any lasting effects.
I've looked through various archives and have found no mention of this drug.
We would still like to find out exactly what it is and any other information