What happens if you use GHB/GBL often?
GHB and GBL are not often seen as addictive substances by people who use them. Most people who use GHB and GBL will only use them from time to time and are unlikely to develop addiction or dependence to the drug. However, people who use these drugs often or for a long period of time may experience long-term issues.
Even if you only use GHB or GBL a few times a year, it’s important to be safe to avoid long-term issues. One of the bigger concerns with these drugs is that they can result in sexually risky behaviour. GHB and GBL are often used in ‘chem sex’ or to heighten other sexual experiences. These drugs can cause poor judgement and result in an increased risk of transmitting sexually transmitted infections like HIV because of not using condoms.
A one-off bad experience or overdose on GHB or GBL can cause permanent damage to your brain and body. This includes affecting your memory, the way you learn and your mood.
When using regularly, GHB and GBL can change the way your brain works – you may be more forgetful and more impulsive. You can become addicted to GHB and GBL and experience unpleasant effects when you stop taking it. Overall, the long-term effects of GHB and GBL have not been well researched, so it can be hard to predict what might happen if you use this drug regularly for a long time.
This experience was shared by a member of Rewired - a support group for men who have sex with men and use methamphetamine, run by the NZ Aids Foundation and NZ Drug Foundation.
It can be a bit weird adjusting back to life outside your bubble, so we’ve pulled togther a few key tips to help you out if you choose to use drugs.