The weight loss industry attacks people at their weakest points. Many diets and supplements are created claiming to help you lose weight fast without concern for the health and well-being of the people buying their products. Some diets can negatively affect your health; however, few have the ability to kill you. GHB is now marketed as a weight loss supplement, despite its dark history. Talk to your doctor and educate yourself before reaching for GHB.
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Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, was first synthetically made in 1960 and was available as a dietary supplement until 1990. It was originally used as an anesthesia, and as a treatment for alcoholism and depression. Today it is available by prescription for cataplexy which is associated with narcolepsy. It comes in a white powder form or as a clear liquid, and is odorless but may have a salty flavor. GHB goes by many street names, such as Liquid Ecstasy, Scoop, Easy Lay, Georgia Home Boy, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X and Goop.
GHB is classified as a central nervous system depressant drug, a sedative and an anesthetic. In low doses it causes feelings of euphoria, drowsiness, confusion and memory impairment. When taken with alcohol it increases the depressant effects of the alcohol. In higher doses it depresses breathing, causes seizures, unconsciousness, coma, nausea and visual disturbances, and possibly resulting in death. Seek emergency medical help if you experience any of these symptoms.
The effects of GHB are felt quickly -- within 10 to 20 minutes of taking the drug. The effects may last from 3 to 6 hours. If taken with alcohol the side effects may be more pronounced. Tolerance to GHB may develop after repeated use, though tolerance to all the side effects does not occur. Addiction is possible with chronic use.
Some companies sell GHB precursors as a method to lose weight, and some bodybuilders use GHB because they believe it will increase their muscle mass. GHB does cause a slight increase in growth hormone levels; however, there is no clinical proof that GHB supplements have any effects on muscle or fat mass. GHB precursors such as GBL and 1,4-BD are sold in health food stores as "safe alternatives" to GHB, but their side effects are as potent as standard GHB.
In 1990 the FDA banned GHB sold over-the-counter in the United States and issued warnings in 1999 regarding the precursor drugs, GBL and 1,4-BD. GHB is most commonly known as the "date rape drug" due to the amnesia it causes. The materials to make these drugs are available online, so much of what's available illegally are "home brews" with unknown levels of GHB, GBL or 1,4-BD. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has GHB, GBL and 1,4-BD listed as "predatory drugs." Predatory drugs cause the victim to be unable to fight back, unaware of their surroundings and unable to remember enough for prosecution.