There Are Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress. Taking GHB Is Not One of Them.
September 23, 2022
When it comes to dealing with stress, it is good to have some coping mechanisms at the ready.
Maybe you intentionally pause and take a few deep breaths when you feel your stress level starting to creep up. Maybe you have built a five-minute break into each hour of your workday so that you can get out of your chair and do a little light stretching before diving back into the current project. Maybe you take a 10-minute walk before work, over the noon hour, and after work to clear your head and get some physical activity scheduled into your day. And in the evenings, maybe you have a wind-down routine designed to help you leave stress behind so that you can get a good night’s sleep (which in turn will make you better able to handle stress the following day).
Those are all healthy ways to manage the stress that is a part of almost everyone’s life. But there are also plenty of unhealthy ways to try to manage stress.
For example, some people might attempt to manage their stress levels by taking a drug known as gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Actually, the drug isn’t really known by that name; it’s a mouthful, after all. The drug is more commonly known as GHB, and it can provide its user with a sense of euphoria and tranquility that seems to wash away all of the stress a person is carrying around with them.
That sounds pretty good, right? And it would be if GHB were able to deliver those positive feelings without putting a person at risk for a whole bunch of negative outcomes. But it can’t.
Let’s take a look at the risks associated with GHB use. But first, we want to share another important note about GHB.
GHB Is Also Known as a “Date Rape Drug”
Our purpose here is to talk about the impacts of personal use of GHB. But we would be remiss if we did not point out that GHB is the drug known as a “date rape drug.” Ill-intentioned individuals sometimes slip the drug in the drink of someone they hope to sexually assault, counting on GHB’s tendency to make users more pliable—and less able to remember what has happened to them. When in public, it is essential to be vigilant about who has access to your drink so that you are not secretly drugged. To the extent that you are able, it is also a good idea to keep an eye on the drinks of those around you.
Stress Relief Via GHB Comes at a Cost
Those who take GHB recreationally do so because the drug offers positive feelings that replace the burden of stress. It is also worth noting that the drug can give a person’s sex drive a boost—which might be appealing if high stress levels have been having an impact in the bedroom.
But in exchange for these apparent benefits, GHB exacts a price. That price comes in the form of side effects that may include:
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of consciousness or coma
To add insult to injury, once your brain and body have become accustomed to a steady supply of GHB, it may be very difficult to stop taking the drug without experiencing a range of withdrawal symptoms—including intense cravings. In many cases, a person suffering from withdrawal will need some level of treatment ranging from outpatient services to inpatient services complete with medically supervised detoxification, a rehabilitation program, and ongoing support during the early days of recovery.
We Cannot Stress Enough the Importance of Seeking Treatment
Many people who have developed a substance use disorder go through a period during which they are absolutely convinced they are in control of the situation. They believe they could give up drugs or alcohol on their own if they were so inclined.
But it is seldom that easy. Once you become addicted to drugs or alcohol, you find yourself caught between the negative impacts of continuing to use the substance in question or suffering significant withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop.
At The Farley Center, we can help you break free of that trap. We are committed to personalized, evidence-based care that will help you regain and maintain your sobriety. Believe us when we say that getting out from under the impacts of a substance use disorder is a great way to reduce the amount of stress in your life.