Citation: phool. "Oh No, I Wouldn't Get Addicted: experience with GHB & GBL (ID 10946)". Erowid.org. Oct 15, 2004. erowid.org/exp/10946
I did GHB for about four months two years ago and although I just missed killing myself with it, I did a pretty good job of screwing up my life.
Note: I'm not blaming the drug for what I did. My choices were my own. And some people appear to have no problem taking G on a sporadic basis. Many do, however -- many message boards show examples. A lot of the info I read about GHB back in '99 was pretty misleading, and in retrospect, obviously written by people using.
I've always been a pretty depressed type, with a few sporadic and short mildly manic periods; possibly bipolar with emphasis on depression.
In my teens/early 20s I became a pretty big pothead -- which doesn't help depression -- but I stopped cold, with zero problems, once I moved to the States. About three years ago, I wanted to get some pot again, but the places where I had once seen it sold on the street had been long shut down by the cops. So I asked around and was referred to a 'house dealer' by a friend, who brought me along. I buy some pot, and he gets an 'ecstasy'. Although I had heard of this, I didn't know much about it. I read up on it and decided to try it -- for personal/spiritual development more than any kind of high while clubbing (I don't do the nightlife thing).
So far, so good -- excellent even. Had some wonderful experiences and insights on E as did my girlfriend. Also experimented with LSD, again after much research, and more from a personal development interest than a desire for trippy visuals (which I got a minimum of). Again, a great learning experience. Then I started to fuck it up (well, taking either of those drugs with unresolved psychiatric issues wasn't too bright to begin with, but I wasn't that aware of them). I came into a chunk of cash and decided to lay in a large supply (50 pills) of E. After a rapid tolerance buildup, doing 3 E at a time would give me little more than a too much caffeine buzz. And I was doing more and more LSD trying to recapture the 'high', with less and less effect.
At this point, I had for a while been struggling with the realisation that my original intentions with this stuff had been replaced by thrill seeking. I stopped using (except for pot) -- not very difficult, as they weren't doing much for me any more. My girlfriend had also burned out a bit on E, though she never used it in the amounts I did.
Well, I guess all that E really screwed over my already probably screwed serotonin and other brain chemistry. Major depression, suicidal thoughts. Despite knowing my motives weren't so pure, I still wanted to get back to the strange spaces and feelings E and LSD had brought me initially. So I tried Ketamine around this time and had some weird, interesting experiences but with an overall very disconnected, gritty, depressing feel -- think Dark City or Pi. Overdid that for a few weeks and worsened the depression. Stopped doing it.
More and more, I withdrew from my girlfriend and other people, dreaded going to work each day. This depression went on for six months with no end in sight, and I decided that, turning thirty that year, I was going to be just as in debt, out of shape, etc. as I was when I turned twenty; and that if things didn't change I'd kill myself over New Years. Not a heat of the moment thing, just what seemed a cold and clear decision to end it if nothing changed.
At which point my girlfriend called one day, excited and giddy. She had read about this stuff that gave an E-like high, without tolerance buildup or serotonin dips, and had ordered a kit. She was totally excited by the results, which she was more than glad to share. I started looking for info on GHB on the web and it all seemed good -- the few exceptions were all at government 'info' sites, which due to my experience with marijuana, I tended to take with a pretty large grain of salt.
I took my first dose later that day, and OH MY GOD was it what I needed, or thought I did. For what seemed like the first time in my life, I actually *wanted* to live. I felt good about my options, I felt good about everything. Giddy, high, but not impaired. I decided that very first day that I *never* wanted to be without it again. I truly felt it had saved me, since I had been serious about committing suicide come year's end if nothing changed.
So I ordered a big supply. Used on a daily basis, and ramped up to 24/7 dosing pretty rapidly -- taking a dose every two hours or so. There were a number of positive effects initially, in terms of overcoming anxiety and depression, abreacting out some long standing personal issues, and on creativity and productivity. But over time, I became totally manic -- I was having more ideas than I could keep track of (and everybody who would stand still was going to hear all about them at 200 words per minute); quit work because I was going to be a genius mastermind artist who, while getting rich off brilliant inventions, would save the world in his spare time; became very irritable and intolerant with anybody who couldn't keep up with me. My girlfriend never had these issues with G. She did, however, have issues with how I was acting -- but much more seriously, with her mother's breast cancer having returned with a vengeance. What did I care, I was happy.
I pretty much withdrew from or pissed off her and the few good friends I had. Wrote scathing, rambling emails to my parents about what I perceived as their wrongs, then got defensive and angry when they asked what was going on with me, why I was acting and sounding so different.
I started acting in pretty disturbing ways. I was writing lots of poetry which I thought clever and performing it at local poetry slams -- not that bad; but I insisted on reciting it to passing strangers, people who live in my apartment building, etc. Got pissed off at everybody in a huge traffic jam in the city leaning on their horns -- not unreasonable in itself, since horns don't help that situation; but decided to yell 'STOP FUCKING HONKING YOU IDIOTS' at them and almost got the crap beat out of me by a driver who didn't take that advice too kindly. Felt much more confident approaching women, not a bad thing; but ended having unprotected sex with a few whom I, in retrospect, should have had serious concerns about.
That was pretty mild, though, compared to waking up on the pavement to find EMS workers and police staring at me. I told them I had drunk too much and passed out, was charming about it, and they brought me home. Didn't seem like a big deal.
BTW, I never dosed to get to sleep, only to get high. I would sleep when I could no longer stay up/get high, maybe a few hours a day.
Next time, I was stumbling home from the poetry reading, woke up with EMS workers and police around, bleeding from my face. No charm this time, I angrily insisted they let me walk the few blocks home. No dice -- handcuffed to the stretcher in the ambulance; they were convinced I was on crystal meth. I kept saying I wasn't, but I wasn't very pleasant and I refused to say what I had been using. I left the hospital as soon as I could walk and sign the disclaimer forms.
Well, at this point I realized things weren't too good. I thought of this as a pretty mild 'not too good'. But I started looking for more info on GHB and read some posts on usenet about dopamine rebound and other withdrawal symptoms. I decided to lay off it for a while, after finishing my current stash. So I did. Had a few pretty bad days, but that seemed to be it. This is after approximately two months of use, with the last few weeks on the every two hour diet. Overall mood was fine after withdrawal, I felt reasonably good with periods of manic happiness.
I ordered more GBL after a month off. Didn't have the money for proper NaOH, so when the GBL came two weeks later I opted for Red Devil Lye.
The period that followed is still pretty much a blur to me.
I do remember one incident: being woken up in my building's elevator by the cops. Again, I insisted they let me go back to my apartment; they insisted I don't. I particularly recall asking aggressively and haughtily whether they were arresting me, and saying that if they weren't, they ought to let me go. Here's a little tip: don't call the cop who is handcuffing you 'bitch'. Same deal as before -- emergency room, and as soon as I could get the disclaimer forms, I signed myself out and headed back home for my fix.
After that, I remember my apartment in fits and spurts, in a nightmarish state. Kept dosing up but had no effects, would feel tremendously agitated, then suddenly fall asleep. Wake up suddenly in a confused panic. Do more G. Going to the side of my apartment where my bed is, but it's confusing, my bed's not there, there's a table -- oh, wrong end of the apartment. Spin, knock stuff over, fall, repeat. Somewhere in there my lights were cut for non payment. Somewhere in there I drank something like half a liter of GBL, straight. Somewhere in there I decided to do laundry in the bathtub -- dumped all my clothes and some detergent in, and started the tap.
That's how they found me: the downstairs neighbors complaining about a leak. EMS thought I was dead when they saw me. I had been comatose for three days and was lying in a few inches of water. Kept me in the ICU for a week and a half or so, very touch and go with heartrate and blood pressure, massive dehydration, massive kidney problems, major muscle breakdown in my legs, all sorts of fun. I slipped in and out of consciousness; they had me on massive doses of Ativan and I was having extremely scary, hallucinatory nightmares. They transferred me to the psych ward, where I ended up for four weeks. I was in a wheelchair because of muscle loss, and the first few weeks are a drugged haze. The doctor there later told me I held forth at length about GHB and displayed aggressive and narcissistic tendencies early in my stay, so I guess the G or its effects was still in my system at the time.
They got me off Ativan and on Klonopin, and weaned me off Klonopin during the last week. I could walk again, if a bit wobbly. Welcome to the shape of your new, freshly fucked up life. My girlfriend visited a few times and was, and has been, very supportive. Welcome to the new life you were too busy selfishly screwing up while your girlfriend -- your amazing girlfriend's -- mom died. No health insurance either, so hello astronomical hospital bill.
Yep, I started feeling quite a bit of anxiety about going out into the world again -- being in a psych ward on heavy meds is a pretty low pressure lifestyle. Talked about it a bit with the docs, they thought I'd do fine.
Well, I haven't done GHB for two years now. Unfortunately, what I'm doing instead is drinking heavily. Never had much taste for alcohol before, but I appear to have been cross trained by the G addiction. Life is fucked, and I've been thinking about doing G again, even though I'm pretty sure that this time, it'll kill me.
Results so far:
~130K hospital bill.
Outstanding IRS debt and other debts, don't know the total, don't want to.
Teeth in horrible shape, some literally rotting away, due to heavy drinking and smoking and neglecting my health generally, possibly also due to heavy G use.
Loss of trust of family and friends.
Shame, guilt and fear over all the wrongs I've done and all the people who saw me do it.
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