Most people in Texas recognize gamma hydroxybutyric acid as a date-rape drug, i.e., a substance that one individual surreptitiously administers to another in order to weaken resistance to sexual activity. However, there are other purposes for which people use the drug. Some use it of their own volition at clubs or parties in the interest of relieving inhibitions and enhancing mood. Because GHB can stimulate the production of human growth hormone, some bodybuilders use it to promote muscle growth.

According to American Addiction Centers, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid exists naturally in your body in very small amounts. Originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat narcolepsy, it is no longer accepted for any medical use in the United States. It is a depressant that affects the function of the central nervous system. Because of its high abuse potential, it carries Schedule 1 controlled substance classification.

Depending on the size of the dose you take, GHB can have different effects on your body. Factors such as your metabolism and the size of the dose determine how long the short-term effects last, usually between three to six hours. A small dose of GHB can result in aggressive behavior, drowsiness, euphoria or visual hallucinations. A larger dose can cause serious complications of coma and death, along with the following:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Lowered body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Long-term side effects of taking GHB may include some of the same symptoms. You may also experience muscle pain, mouth sores and infections, amnesia, headaches, slurred speech and difficulty concentrating. Ironically, when taken in small doses GHB offers anxiety relief, but prolonged use can actually cause extreme anxiety. Another possible side effect of long-term GHB use is a cardiovascular collapse, which could be fatal.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.