Many people – from bodybuilders to doctors to college partygoers – have heard of GHB. It’s had a history as a great way to gain muscle, being a date rape drug, and costing some people their lives. It’s a dangerous yet highly useful drug. Let’s learn more about its origins, uses, and whether or not bodybuilders should indulge in it.
GHB, or Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, was initially used in Europe for a variety of medical purposes. It was mainly used for pain management during periods of childbirth, as a sedative for addicts and alcoholics, and as a general anesthetic for all sorts of emergency room woes. It used to be available over the counter in the United States, twenty years ago. Health food stores reported it was a very popular seller among bodybuilders seeking body fat losses and muscle gains, along with a nice feeling of relaxation that accompanied its use.
The problem arose, as with many drugs, when people chose to use too much GHB. Just as Ephedra was wildly popular until people started taking it by the handful and dying, GHB was soon used in high doses with very negative results. Users of GHB experience a wide range of side effects. Large amounts make the person extremely sleepy, hence its use as a date-rape drug. Extreme use has been known to cause seizures and even death. Blood pressure drops can occur, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes in high-risk patients. Uncontrolled diarrhea or urination can also occur due to extreme relaxation.
On November 8, 1990, the FDA issued a complete ban on GHB in the United States. Public pressure had arisen due to the heavy use of GHB on college campuses. Designed to help boost muscle gains and low body fat levels, men were giving it to women in high doses surreptitiously. As a result, date rape skyrocketed and some people died from its use. Rather than regulate this very useful bodybuilding drug, the FDA decided a nationwide ban was in order.
The legal penalties for possession of GHB are very steep, due to its past popularity as a date rape drug. It’s likely not worth the risk. If you have access to other drugs, which can deliver the same effects for bodybuilding purposes, you should use them, by all means. GHB is very useful for bodybuilding purposes, but its import and possession make it just too risky for most bodybuilders.