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J Psychopharmacol. 2005 Mar;19(2):195-204.

Gamma hydroxy butyrate abuse and dependency.

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Edward Myers Unit, Harpland Hospital, Stoke-On-Trent, UK.


The recreational use of gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB) has gained popularity over the last decade. GHB was initially sold as a safe body building and fat burning compound. It is now also widely abused by body builders and young ravers. GHB attracts young people due the euphoria that it initially produces, and the claimed increase in sociability and sexual function (it is also known as liquid Ecstasy). Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of cases of GHB intoxication, dependence and severe withdrawal, as reported in medical literature. The situation is complicated by the use of GHB analogues, other toxic chemicals that are easily converted into GHB. GHB has recently been classified as a class 'C' drug in the UK, but no provisions were made in relation to GHB analogues. GHB has been increasingly used in rape cases due to its capacity to produce intoxication and amnesia. The management of patients dependent on GHB is rather complicated due to the high doses of medication that they require to control withdrawal symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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