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Am J Addict. 2011 Jan-Feb;20(1):30-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2010.00099.x. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

A web-based study of gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB): patterns, experiences, and functions of use.

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  • 1Social Sciences Research Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, 02881, USA. LARStein@URI.EDU.


GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) was developed as a general anesthetic. Due to dosing difficulty and side effects, regular use was discontinued. Medical uses include treating sleep and alcohol disorders. In the 1990s, it was promoted as a supplement and taken to improve mood and sex. GHB and its analogs (gamma butyrolactone and butanediol) were widely available until federal regulations were put into effect with mounting evidence of adverse events. This survey (N = 61) study was conducted to assess patterns, experiences, and functions of use. Much of what is understood regarding GHB treatment is based on hospital case studies for overdose and withdrawal. Not enough is known about prevention, reducing use and associated problems, or relapse. We know little about specific drug effect expectancies, triggers, coping skills, and consequences of use (positive/negative). While the drug treatment literature has a wealth of information to draw upon, GHB-specific information may greatly assist relapse prevention. 

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

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