GHB: Personal and social consequences

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 3:53 pm

Use of GHB can impair judgment and cause short-term (retrograde) amnesia, increasing the possibility for risky behavior and sexual assault. It also impairs ability to drive, increasing the risk for a car accident. If use is long term, the abuser risks unknown health consequences and, if use is discontinued, the abuser is subject to potential withdrawal illness.
When GHB use is suspected or discovered, physicians and other hospital staff may counsel patients about the dangers of GHB use. They may make a referral to a rehabilitation program. As with any other drug, the physician should inquire about the possibility of the abuse of multiple drugs.
To truly restrict GHB use, experts emphasize that public education is needed to supplement legal actions. In an effort to teach people the dangers of GHB and other club drugs, the NIDA has launched a national educational campaign with partner organizations Join Together, National Families in Action, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.

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