The Rise and Rise of GHB

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Here’s another club drug on the rise for you — GHB. This is a viscous, colorless, and odorless liquid. You can easily sneak this cheap drug into clubs and festivals. It has similar effects to alcohol and MDMA, but no comedown. The catch? A drop too much can be fatal.

Here’s a brief timeline of its making:
  • In the 60s, its development as an anaesthetic treated narcolepsy or alcoholism. It even sold as stain remover, rust remover or alloy cleaner.
  • Here in the 80s, it became popular among bodybuilders for increasing growth hormone levels. In addition to that, kids took it at clubs to lower their inhibitions without getting sloppy.
  • In the 90s, G became the ‘date rape drug’
  • Come the 2010s, it hit the LGBTQ community as the “Grindr killer”.

You can see the appeal — it is an upper, a downer, a happy pill, a chill pill, or a confidence boost. Some even use it as a suicide assist. The LGBTQ+ community has associated its use with chem, alongside meth, ketamine, cocaine, and other drugs.

This is a less popular, less talked about item but it has related overdose deaths in Europe. As its use becomes more frequent, more G-related comas have increased in the last five years. It is becoming increasingly popular among heterouals today. Its risky reputation may be slowing the use, but it is the third most common drug-related cause of emergency medical services. Users can become addicted and the withdrawal is similar to coming off heroin or alcohol.

Whether it be sleep, socialization, , or managing the comedown of drugs, G is dangerous from dose to dose. It is highly unpredictable and opinions of it vary from person to experience. “G-ing out” is falling into a very deep sleep, where the dose eventually tapers off. This is dangerous because a person’s heart rate and breathing slow way, way down. If your fear of death is sleeping and never waking up, it is a definite possibility on this.

“Social acceptability of drugs is never a good thing if it exists in a vacuum of self-care. Stigma is always bad, but the de-stigmatization of something should always happen in a climate where self-care is nurtured and harm reduction information is widely available.” – David Stuart, GHB expert

The Solution?

Destigmatizing GHB use brings better awareness around harm reduction. This makes it more open for people to get the help they need. If someone is convulsing and their friends don’t know what they took, they could be treated for alcoholism instead of a G overdose. Education and responsibility are key factors in solving this problem. Don’t be part of the statistic.