- Written by Marcel Gemme C.C.D.C
GHB Addiction in Canada
Drug Rehab Services is a no-cost referral agency in Canada for drug and alcohol dependency. We have helped thousands of persons getting the proper help in the following detox and GHB addiction rehab services:
- GHB detox
- NA meetings
- Residential treatment for GHB
- GHB outpatient rehabs
- GHB intervention
Our goal is to provide you the best advice possible for GHB addiction treatment clinics so you or a loved one gets a GHB-free life. This page covers information on GHB addiction in Canada.
What is GHB Addiction?
GHB addiction is less common in Canada than other street drugs, but is nonetheless, a problem that should be taken care of. GHB addiction started being a problem in Canada towards the 90s, especially within the
In Ontario, they made a few drug-abuse surveys, especially in Toronto. In 2003, the Toronto students were asked about GHB consumption within the last year. The rate was of 1 %, which was actually the same as in 2001. This goes to show that there is some stability where GHB abuse and GHB addiction are concerned, but also shows that there has been no decrease over the last few years. In the whole province of Ontario, they also did a survey on students and found that 0.7 of them had used GHB, with a number of boys slightly higher than girls.
In the city of Montreal, Quebec, there was a study made within the rave community in 2002. It was found that 18.6 % of them had used GHB during their lives. And of those, there were 28.2 % that had used it recently and so had a risk of developing a GHB addiction.
GHB is sometimes used on people in raves parties to induce sleep and so rapes have been known to happen because of this "date rape" drug. However, it is often used as a recreational drug. Other illegal drugs are also often taken within that community.
GHB is illegal in Montreal, Quebec, and Canada.
Where Can I Find a GHB Addiction Treatment?
There are several places and drug rehab facilities where you can find help for GHB addiction in Canada. There are different settings such as residential rehab centers, outpatient rehabs, etc. Is a detox needed? One of our counselors can do an assessment and give you the best option for you or someone you love. Let us help you.
GHB Addiction Information
Drug: Gamma hydroxybutyrate
GHB Street Name: Gina, Georgia Home Boy, G, GB, GBH, Juice, Fantasy, Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X, Somatomax, Scoop, Gamma-OH and Jungle Juice.
GHB Effects: At lower doses, GHB has a euphoric effect similar to alcohol and can make the user feel relaxed, happy and sociable. Higher doses can make the drug user feel dizzy, sleepy and can sometimes cause vomiting, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness.
Overdoses will always cause loss of consciousness (temporary coma) and will slow down breathing. Sometimes, and particularly if mixed with alcohol, GHB can slow down breathing to a dangerously low rate, which has caused a number of deaths.
GHB Description: GHB is aused as an intoxicant. It is sold in small bottles. It has also been found in powder and capsule forms. It is classified as a sedative-hypnotic and was originally developed as a sleep-aid.
The substance is frequently represented as a date-rape drug, much in the same way as alcohol and Rohipnol. It is occasionally referred to as liquid ecstasy because of its tendency to produce euphoria and sociability and its use in the dance party scene. Nonetheless, the effects of GHB are quite different from those of MDMA (ecstasy).
GHB usually comes as an odorless liquid. The sodium salt of GHB has a thin, salty, chemical taste. At low doses, GHB can create a state of euphoria, raised libido, increased sociability and intoxication. This kind of use is especially usual at rave parties. At higher quantities, GHB might induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, agitation, visual disturbances, depressed breathing, amnesia and unconsciousness. The effects of GHB can last from 1.5 to three hours or even longer if big doses have been used, or if it is mixed with alcohol. Consumption among athletes and bodybuilders is also known, as GHB is thought to raise growth hormone release; there is some evidence supporting these claims but actual efficacy for this purpose is unclear.
Usually, the doses used recreational are between 500 mg and 3000 mg, corresponding to about 0.5–3 mL of liquid if the concentration is 1 gram / 1 mil (which is not always the case). When used as a recreational substance, GHB may be found as a pure liquid, or as GHB salt dissolved in water, normally at a standardized concentration of one gram / one mL and so is twice the strength of the Xyrem solution sold legally for medical use.
Certain chemicals convert to GHB in the stomach and blood. GBL, or gamma-butyrobetaine, is one such pro substance. Other pro-drugs include 1,4-butanediol. There might be additional toxicity issues with these precursors. 1,4-B and GBL are usually found as pure liquids, even though they may be mixed with other more harmful solvents when intended for industrial use, e.g. as paint stripper or varnish thinner.
Since about 1990, GHB (gamma- hydroxybutyrate) has been abused in the U.S.A. for euphoric, sedative, and(body building) effects. As with Rohypnol and Clonazepam, the consumption of GHB has been associated with sexual assaults in cities throughout the country. Reports from Detroit indicate liquid GHB is being used in nightclubs for effects similar to those of Rohypnol. It is also common in the club scene in Phoenix, Honolulu, and Texas, where it is known as "liquid ecstasy," "somatomax," "scoop," or "grievous bodily harm." In Miami, poison control center calls have reflected problems associated with increased GHB use, including loss of consciousness.
In New York City, there have been reports of GHB use among those in the fashion industry. In Atlanta, it is commonly used as a synthetic steroid at fitness centers and gyms. Coma and seizures can occur following abuse of GHB and when combined with methamphetamine, there appears to be an increased risk of seizure. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. Because of concern about Rohypnol, GHB, and other similarly abused sedative-hypnotics, the Congress passed the "Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996" in October 1996. This legislation increased federal penalties for use of any controlled substance to aid in sexual assault.
GHB Street Use: usually ingested in a liquid mixture; most commonly mixed with Alcohol.
GHB Dependency: rare due to rapid elimination. GHB Dependence may occur with an excessive use.
GHB can be physically addictive and might result in psychological addiction. Physical dependence occurs when GHB is used regularly (i.e. every 2-4 hours for multiple consecutive days or weeks).
GHB Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms:
GHB withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Loss of coordination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of bladder control
- Sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure
- Decreased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness,
- Coma or death
These adverse effects will subside after 2 - 21 days depending on frequency of usage and the amount used. In some severe cases, withdrawal from GHB may cause symptoms similar to acute withdrawal from alcohol or barbiturates (delirium tremens) and can lead to convulsions and hallucinations. Even though there have been reported deaths due to GHB withdrawal, reports are inconclusive and further research is needed. Unlike alcohol, there is no firm information that GHB addiction creates permanent damage to the body. In rats, no organ or brain damages were seen after regular administration of GBL (a precursor to GHB).
GHB Long-Term Use:
In instances of regular or prolonged GHB use and addiction, an additional anecdotal symptom is occasionally noted, consisting of a form of dyskinesia similar to tardive dyskinesia, manifested in involuntary jaw-clacking, or a tick that presents in spontaneous clicking sounds. This symptom frequently takes longer to dissipate than the instantaneous GHB withdrawal symptoms, probably indicating a different mechanism of action from that of direct withdrawal. This is also supported by reports of the dyskinesia developing concurrently with active GHB use in regular users (particularly in those who co-administer the drug with amphetamines).