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Posted by Jamie on September 09, 2000 at 11:04:44:

In Reply to: Re: GHB addiction posted by Leona on September 02, 2000 at 08:48:00:

: First synthesized in the early 1960's, GHB is structurally similar to the neurotransmitter GABA and triggers a variety of effects in the body, apparently by temporarily increasing the supply of both GABA and dopamine in the brain. At moderate doses, GHB induces a state of relaxation, euphoria, and disinhibition similar to alcohol. At higher doses, GHB induces a sleep so deep it has been mistaken for coma. GHB was originally developed as an anaesthetic, but was withdrawn due to unwanted side effects. The only legal use of GHB has been as in investigational treatment for the treatment narcolepsy. In Europe, GHB has been used as an anaesthetic and experimentally to treat alcohol withdrawal (Gallimberti, 1989).

GHB has been marketed in England as an anti-aging medicine which allegedly increases the libido, decreases body fat, aids alcohol withdrawal, and induces sleep.

In the United States, GHB has been marketed illicitly 1) to body builders as a growth hormone stimulant and 2) as a replacement for L-tryptophan, a food supplement which reportedly induced sleep and was withdrawn in 1989 due to complications (MMWR, 1990).

Sold over the counter as a dietary supplement for years, distribution was halted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1990. Since then, sale has been banned nationwide, while possession remained legal until individual states began banning it in 1997, due to its links to incidents of date rape.

Why do people take it now? Mainly to get high. And among other things, GHB and its analog products claim to fight stress and depression, induce deep sleep, relieve anxiety, enhance sexual feeling, enhance athletic performance, and as an anti-depressant. People also still use it for the reasons mentioned in the examples of the U.S. and England above.

Unfortunatly, for all of it's great uses, when too much is taken the side effects can be very deadly. This is made worse by it's high interaction rate with alcohol and drugs used emergency personnel who either don't know they are dealing with a GHB overdose or are not experienced in that area. It also has an addictive quality for some folks with no common sense (myself).

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