Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant approved for use in the treatment of narcolepsy, a disorder that causes daytime “sleep attacks”.

Commercial NamesCommon FormsCommon Ways TakenDEA Schedule
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate or sodium oxybate (Xyrem®)Colorless liquid, white powderSwallowed (often combined with alcohol or other beverages)I**
Possible Health Effects
Short-termEuphoria, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, memory loss, unconsciousness, slowed heart rate and breathing, lower body temperature, seizures, coma, death.
Other Health-related IssuesSometimes used as a date rape drug.
In Combination with AlcoholNausea, problems with breathing, greatly increased depressant effects.
Withdrawal SymptomsInsomnia, anxiety, tremors, sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, psychotic thoughts.
Treatment Options
Behavioral TherapiesMore research is needed to find out if behavioral therapies can be used to treat GHB addiction.

LSD (Acid)
MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)
Mescaline (Peyote)
Methamphetamine (Crystal/Meth)
Over-the-Counter Medicines—Dextromethorphan (DXM)
Over-the-Counter Medicines—Loperamide
PCP (Angel Dust)
Prescription Opioids (Oxy/Percs)
Prescription Stimulants (Speed)
Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms/Shrooms)
Rohypnol® (Flunitrazepam/Roofies)
Steroids (Anabolic)
Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/Spice)
Synthetic Cathinones (Bath Salts/Flakka)
Tobacco/Nicotine and Vaping

**Drugs are classified into five distinct categories or schedules “depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s use or dependency potential.” More information and the most up-to-date scheduling information can be found on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website.

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