Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid:
patterns of use, effects and withdrawal

Miotto K, Darakjian J, Basch J,
Murray S, Zogg J, Rawson R.
UCLA Dept. of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences,
760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.
Am J Addict 2001 Summer;10(3):232-41


Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is gaining popularity as a drug of abuse. Reports of toxicity and lethality associated with GHB use have increased. This survey study was designed to identify patterns of GHB use, its effects, and withdrawal syndrome. A survey inquiring about the effects of GHB was administered to 42 users. The results showed that GHB was used to increased feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and sexuality. Adverse effects occurred more frequently in daily users and polydrug users than in occasional GHB users. Loss of consciousness was reported by 66%, overdose by 28%, and amnesia by 13% of participants during GHB use and by 45% after GHB use. Three daily users developed a withdrawal syndrome that presented with anxiety, agitation, tremor, and delirium. Participants described GHB intoxication as having similarities to sedative-hypnotic or alcohol intoxication. Regular use has been shown to produce tolerance and dependence. Participants dependent on GHB reported using multiple daily doses around the clock. High frequency users appeared at the greatest risk for developing withdrawal delirium and psychosis after abrupt discontinuation of GHB use.
GHB: structure
GHB withdrawal
GHB and cocaine
Drugs and reward
GHB and the brain
GHB and alcoholism
GHB and narcolepsy
GHB and growth hormone
The pleasure and the pain
Fasting, euphoria and GHB
GHB (Xyrem) and narcolepsy
GHB, tryptophan and serotonin
GHB as a signalling molecule in brain
The neurobiology of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid
Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL): a natural component of wine
GHB (Xyrem) v naltrexone in maintaining alcohol abstinence
Presence of GHB and GBL in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

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