GHB Addiction

Short Term Effects of GHB

GHB is more commonly known as liquid ecstasy or “G”.

GHB produces euphoria and muscle relaxation at low doses. At slightly higher doses, the user becomes increasingly tired and forgetful. The effects of GHB vary in different people from increased libido to agitation to effect similar to alcohol intoxication.

Short Term Damage

The drug was originally available without a prescription and marketed chiefly to bodybuilders. However it soon became apparent that GHB could cause involuntary muscle movements and dangerous central nervous system depression.

Long Term Damage of GHB Usage

Because the abuse of GHB is a relatively recent phenomenon, the long term effects of its use are not fully known.

However, it is clear that long term use can lead to  GHB addiction.

Withdrawal from GHB causes profound sleep disturbance, tremor, and anxiety.


At high doses, GHB can cause the following:

  • Loss of muscle control
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow heart rate
  • Slow breathing rate
  • Drop in body temperature

People may experience a particular type of coma that is rapidly reversible, however when users snap out of the coma, they are immediately aggressive and even violent. Cases of death from GHB poisoning have been reported.1

Symptoms and Signs of GHB Abuse

Signs of GHB addiction and abuse are difficult to detect.  The most tell-tale sign might be drug seeking behavior that occurs with dependence on GHB.

Adverse Interactions

GHB is often abused with alcohol. Alcohol tends to increase the number of toxic effects of GHB including gastrointestinal upset and low blood pressure.2 GHB may interact with antiretroviral medications making the effects of GHB more potent.3


Find a rehab that specializes in treating addition to party drugs (including GHB)



  1. Sporer KA, Chin RL, Dyer JE, Lamb R. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate serum levels and clinical syndrome after severe overdose. Ann Emerg Med. Jul 2003;42(1):3-8.
  2. Thai D, Dyer JE, Benowitz NL, Haller CA. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate and ethanol effects and interactions in humans. J Clin Psychopharmacol. Oct 2006;26(5):524-529.
  3. omanelli F, Smith KM, Pomeroy C. Use of club drugs by HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative gay and bisexual men. Top HIV Med. Jan-Feb 2003;11(1):25-32.