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Liquid X: What is GHB?

Urb Magazine (#26)

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 ualities 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 thought.

--- Cohry O.

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