Ecstacy Abuse

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GHB, or Gamma-Hydroxy Butyric Acid is an intoxicating chemical with medical, recreational, and potentially entheogenic uses. It is a normal component of mammalian metabolism. It is naturally found in every cell in the human body and is most properly considered a nutrient. It is believed to be a neurotransmitter, although it is still unknown as to whether it exhibits all of the properties required to be considered one. GHB was first synthesized about thirty years ago by Dr. H. Laborit. He was a French researcher interested in exploring the effects of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. Over the years many researchers have studied GHB’s effects. In Europe it is used as a general anesthetic, a treatment for insomnia and narcolepsy, an aid to childbirth, a treatment for alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal syndrome and many other things. During the 1980's it was available over the counter for its ability to stimulate growth hormone release which aids in fat reduction and muscle building. Now it is very popular as a recreational drug due to its pleasant alcohol-like hangover- free high and strong sexual effects. Some street terms include Liquid X, Liquid Ecstacy, Georgia Home Boy, Grievous Bodily Harm, and Scoop. GHB is not approved in the US and has been banned from over-the-counter sale by the FDA (1990). GHB has not yet been scheduled as a controlled substance by the DEA, and therefore simple possession is not illegal. GHB continues to be sold to legitimate laboratories and scientists for research purposes but selling it specifically for human consumption, especially while making claims about its health benefits, is a violation of current FDA regulations and policy. In some European countries, GHB is an approved drug available by prescription. The Federal control may have been an act to protect the pharmaceutical industry from competition from a safer, more effective and less expensive alternative to sleeping pills. There are many side effects and concerns associated with this drug. GHB affects the release of dopamine in the brain, usually causing effects ranging from relaxation to sleep at low doses. Overall the effect is similar to that of alcohol. The difference is that duration is slightly longer and the hangover effects are slightly less and the unpleasant and dangerous overdose effect of possibly causing temporarily unrousable sleep, or coma, ... ... middle of paper ... ...y of orgasm All four together heighten the purpose of using this drug as a ‘date-rape’ drug. GHB is available as an odorless, colorless, and nearly tasteless liquid. Sometimes it is available as a powder, or in a capsule. GHB is obviously a very powerful, dangerous, and addictive drug. When not taken with care it can result in severe brain damage, coma, even death. It is not currently illegal to have possession of the drug, however , it is illegal to sell, buy, or make it. There are different dosages depending on weight and body of the individual. Its street terms include Georgia Home Boy, Liquid X, Liquid Ecstacy, Grievous Bodily Harm, and Scoop. It is often used as a date-rape drug due to its ability to cause relaxation, decreased motor skills, a short euphoric period, grogginess, slight incoherence, and physical disequilibrium. With very heavy use, many people report very serious physical addiction. Stopping suddenly results in anxiety, inability to sleep, feeling like the heart is arrhythmic, and often very unpleasant and potentially dangerous effects. Many heavy users have reported being able to taper off their use to zero by reducing their intake slowly over 2-3 weeks.

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