Substance Use

Mixing GHB and Alcohol: Can You Drink on GHB?

hand pouring liquid ghb into liquor glass

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What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With GHB?

People who use Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GHB) often mix it with alcohol to amplify its effects. However, the combination of GHB and alcohol can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening. Combination drug use is also a sign of a serious substance use disorder, and it’s important to seek help before drug abuse causes severe physical or mental health damage.

Are you looking for a confidential treatment program that can help you overcome prescription drug addiction or get your alcohol consumption in check? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options.

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Can You Drink on GHB?

You should not drink alcohol when taking GHB. 

GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) is a central nervous system depressant initially developed as an anesthetic. Also called liquid ecstasy or Georgia Home Boy, GHB is associated with serious risks, including overdose and death. 

Using alcohol, which is also a central nervous system depressant, can amplify GHB’s sedative effects. This is because both alcohol and GHB supress nerve activity, leading to drowsiness, impaired motor function, and slowed thinking.

How Long After Taking GHB Can You Drink Alcohol?

You should wait at least 24 hours after taking GHB before drinking alcohol to ensure the drug is out of your system.

GHB is often associated with raves and parties, where it’s known for its euphoric effects. In addition, it’s sometimes used as a date rape drug to facilitate sexual assaults due to its ability to reduce inhibitions and cause memory loss.

This means alcohol is often readily accessible for those taking GHB, but combining them is risky. 

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With GHB?

GHB has no accepted medical use in the United States, making it a Schedule I drug.

Once popular among bodybuilders, it now has a reputation as a “club drug” since rave culture in the 1990s realized it induces side effects like:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Sociability
  • Increased urge for sex

GHB is often taken with other substances, including alcohol, other depressants, stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine, hallucinogens such as LSD, and marijuana.

Combining it with these drugs can strengthen the influence of GHB, but it is particularly dangerous as it can lead to severe and unpredictable side effects.

Another reason people may combine alcohol with GHB is that it can offset the drug’s flavor, which can have a slightly salty or bitter taste.

Why Is It Dangerous to Mix GHB with Alcohol?

Low doses of GHB can cause nausea, while high doses can lead to:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Considerably slowed breathing
  • Lower body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Coma
  • Death

Alcohol worsens all of these symptoms and it can lead to an overdose. When used together, the effects of both drugs are magnified, increasing the risk of:

People who use high levels of GHB and those who use it with alcohol also have a greater risk of overdose.

An overdose is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Acute poisoning can lead to severe consequences and even if someone survives poisoning, they may be left with brain damage that affects their cognition and memory.

If you think someone is overdosing from GHB or another recreational drug, call 911 immediately

Are you looking for a confidential treatment program that can help you overcome prescription drug addiction or get your alcohol consumption in check? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at  (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options

What Can Happen if You Drink on GHB?

GHB has a variety of effects on the brain. It increases levels of dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and reward. GHB also affects the endogenous opioid system, which helps regulate pain and emotions. 

Like alcohol use, chronic GHB use can lead to tolerance, dependence, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance occurs when the body becomes less responsive to a given dose of GHB, leading users to escalate their dosage to achieve the desired effects.

Meanwhile, dependence occurs when the body becomes so used to GHB that it cannot function properly without it. This can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with GHB?

Mixing GHB and alcohol is a form of drug abuse and can quickly lead to dependence and addiction.

As someone begins to struggle with substance use, you may notice symptoms like:

  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Low energy and lack of motivation 
  • Depression, anxiety, and paranoia 
  • Withdrawal from hobbies and social circles
  • Changes in behavior, including more risky behavior

In some cases, psychotic thoughts have also been reported with GHB addiction.

It’s important to note that the withdrawal symptoms for GHB and alcohol can be serious, meaning it can be difficult to stop using both substances without professional help. There is also a risk of relapse or death caused by withdrawal symptoms, so it is essential to detox under medical supervision.

How to Get Help For a GHB Addiction

With proper treatment, GHB addicts can learn to manage their disorders and live healthy, productive lives. The treatment for GHB and alcohol addiction starts with detoxification, which helps the body to rid itself of the toxic substances that have been ingested.

Once detox is complete, the next step is usually counseling and therapy. This can help addicts understand the root causes of their addiction and develop coping skills to deal with triggers and cravings. In some cases, doctors may also prescribe medication to help manage symptoms. 

When searching for a treatment facility, look for one that provides the following:

  • Customized treatment programs tailored to your unique situation, substance use history, and co-occurring disorders (like depression)
  • Inpatient and outpatient recovery options that are flexible enough to conform to your lifestyle and support you during the transitional phase
  • Mental health counseling provided by professionals who are experienced with your challenges and any conditions you have
  • A confidential, welcoming facility where you feel safe to talk about your struggles with addiction and be honest about your symptoms, cravings, and difficulties

Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious mental health condition that can impact your quality of life, harm your relationships, and lead to severe and potentially permanent side effects on your mind and body.

If you or someone you love is dealing with addiction, it’s essential to get help from a judgment-free, caring team that can help you find the path to recovery.

Zinnia Health offers a comprehensive addiction treatment program to help you overcome GHB or other substance use disorders and build a foundation for lasting sobriety. Contact us today or give us a call at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about how we can help you on your journey to recovery from substance abuse. We work with most healthcare and insurance providers.

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