If you are like me, you have heard of about the drug GHB or gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid in the news. In the past decade or so, it has gotten a lot of media attention because of its purpose. GHB is a “Date Rape” drug. Along with drugs like Rohypnol and Ketamine, GHB has been used as a way to anesthetize a victim before a sexual assault or rape. It is known as well for being a negative part of the “rave” culture, being nicknamed “liquid Ecstasy”…. So it is not surprising that almost EVERYONE who has heard of it has negative feelings towards it. It is the drug that you warn your friends and family about. It is why you tell your children not to leave their drink unattended when they are out with friends. It is a drug that has the ability to destroy and potentially end lives.
What I didn’t KNOW is that GHB is a legitimate drug! It was widely used at one point in Europe as a sleep aid as well as an anesthetic during child-birth. It has also been used for treating narcolepsy and severe alcoholism. I believe that this drug has been replaced by other safer drugs for these medical conditions because of the risks involved and its addictive nature, but it is definitely still being used throughout the world.
GHB is not just a date-rape drug, although it is widely known as such, and also for the other non-medicinal uses it carries.
I read an interesting article today, and it led me to do a little investigation of my own. GHB is actually being studied as a potential treatment for Chronic Pain, specifically Fibromyalgia, CFIDS, and ME.
Psychology Today ran an article this past October about this. It poses the question: GHB Rave or Relief?
Dr. Podell, a doctor from New Jersey also has an article on his website about the potential benefits of GHB in regards to treating Fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia-symptoms.org, has GHB listed under “Fibromyalgia Medications”.
Is this another stab in the dark as far as treatments are concerned? -Or- is this drug potentially the next miracle treatment for people like us?
Are we just guinea pigs? -Or- are these trial studies going to lead us to a better life, and maybe a cure?
I don’t know about you, but hearing about drugs like this as a potential treatment of chronic pain makes me NERVOUS.
At best we’ve already had many drugs thrown at us that have less than stellar side effects. The drugs that we currently take for the treatment of this illness are usually combined with other medications, don’t have high success rates as far as pain control is concerned, and some of them can cause other problems with our health.
Don’t get me wrong, I am SO excited to know that trials and studies are being done for Fibro research!! That means that potentially we will all be led out of suffering and into the light when better treatments are found! What makes me nervous is that this drug in particular is a very dangerous drug, and one that has an insane list of side-effects and warnings. If drugs such as this one become approved for the treatment of this illness, what does that mean for our whole community?
Do we become guinea pigs?
Do we then have to live with even more nasty side-effects? (respiratory arrest CAN be an effect by the way)?
Does this compound the stigma of Chronic Pain patients being drug addicts?
If this drug becomes FDA approved for the treatment of Fibromyalgia, how will this change the accessibility to GHB for people who are looking to abuse it, or use it to sexually assault their victims?
The whole thing seems a little scary to me, and I thought I would share what I found. I needed to do a little thinking out loud 😉