Citation: El Mitanio. "From My Best Friend To My Worst Enemy: An Experience with GBL (exp80862)". Erowid.org. Aug 24, 2011. erowid.org/exp/80862
It all started when I was out at an event with my friends. I’d heard of GBL (GHB) and that they’d tried it, and it was good, but I was reluctant to try it myself. This particular day, although very apprehensive, I did try it and once I knew what I was looking for I really enjoyed the experience. This was in the back end of 2008.
Since then my use of it was sporadic, recreational and enjoyable, if not somewhat reckless at times. Then my tolerance went up and then for a while even 1-2ml of GBL would make me drowsy or pass out. I was usually drinking at the time but that never mattered before. So I laid off it for a while, settled down, worked and got on with my girlfriend at the time. Like I said, my use was sporadic, I’d buy a 125ml bottle and it’d last me ages. I was well aware it was addictive and I never went a whole week on it or have it all day, and I enjoyed it all the time I used it. It was more of a release than a high for me, I’ve got my share of emotional and mental problems - but this story is about drugs, right?
Over the festive season I usually get really depressed for some reason, and try and hide away. I did so that particular Christmas with an Xbox and a bottle of GBL, my standard dose was 2ml or 1.5 and that would get me high for a few hours. I became reclusive, even to my girlfriend, but I was still not addicted.
As many of us have felt, the recession hit. I lost my job in January and my girlfriend shortly after that, about a month or so. For a while, after I figured out what had been going on, I was on top of the world… For some reason. Call it denial, whatever… I started eating healthily, staying away from drugs, body-building, exercising, everything a physically fit 19-year-old guy should be doing. Then I slowly started to slip back into the depression that I’ve been in and out of for 5 years or so. I started using GBL again but it was still recreational at that point. My release, if you like. It made it seem ok to feel how I was feeling, even though I try to hide it from everybody else. Then, I can’t remember specifically, things got worse.
Of course I’d go out and see my friends, socialize, take a myriad of drugs in unusual circumstances (bowling alleys, etc) and GBL was always there for the comedown. It was my saviour when we had about £30 of speed and a few E’s. The next day would have been horrendous, but luckily my best friend was there to help us out. It was a slow slope down to addiction but it took a couple of months.
The first time I realised I was addicted was when I was working at a DIY shop for an old man. I never brought any into work, I had the shakes and I was a paranoid wreck all day. I panicked, but I got through the day. It scared the shit out of me. In retrospect I should have quit and stuck it out then when the withdrawal symptoms weren’t so severe. Retrospect is a marvellous, useless thing isn’t it? Well not so useless as I’ll ever touch GBL again but I can still kick myself. In the coming months my usage was going up every order. A 125ml bottle would last me 5 days, and at one point I was so reckless I was using over 60ml a day and still using other drugs like speed, ecstasy… Stupid shit… Then again, I didn’t exactly want to live my life either so what did I care?
Then the REAL addiction came along. I went to doctors, drugs counsellors, you name it - I went there and got the same response.
“Uhhh GBH? What’s that?”
So I compiled the research myself and pointed the professionals in the right direction, but of course doctors know everything and drugs counsellors know what’s best. “Try and cut down” this and “Can you not just quit?”
I was using 3ml every hit, going up and up to 5ml, 12 times a day or more(every 1-2 hours), and that was just to keep me from feeling the withdrawal symptoms (extreme anxiety/paranoia, panic attacks, and that was just the start.) I still nearly passed out places and shit like that, and it was going to take another month for the funding to come through (that was if it was approved) for me to have an in-patient detox. I’d already had to steal money to feed my habit which I couldn’t break, no matter how hard I tried, and I’m still ashamed of it to this day. I’d tried coming off it and tapering numerous times. At first the panic attacks were the main problem and so I went to the doctors to get some beta-blockers, thus stopping the pounding heart. I was prepared to feel like shit, but it was like a living hell. I couldn’t have handled it with just the beta blockers, a bad acid trip for a week with no sleep? No thanks.
So another month and 250ml would last me 3 days instead of 7, and fuck knows what it was doing to my vital organs. My hands and legs were going numb, I could barely focus, remember anything. I was a zombie, almost. That’s when I decided to contact the hospital directly and see if they would detox me.
They agreed, and I gave them all the relevant information regarding withdrawal, and of course being doctors they know everything, quickly scanned the info and put me on a ward with a saline drip and benzodiazepines. Insufficient amounts and of course, I needed other drugs like Haloperidol, an anti-psychotic, if it was going to be anything like last time. The benzo’s seemed to hold off most of the withdrawal and keep me steady, but by the first night I was already hallucinating. I got anxious, paranoid, nearly signed myself out of the hospital and then I went psychotic. Next thing I know I’m in handcuffs going to a police station, with a brain going stir crazy from stored up dopamine.
The next 48 hours I only remember parts of, but I was always trying to escape. First I thought it was a joke, and you had to press the correct series of buttons to escape, like one of those stitch-up programs on TV because there was a camera in the top corner of the cell. I used the toilet and fucked the combination up (one of the buttons was to flush the toilet) and I thought the cell sank to the bottom of the ocean. Obviously I was too stupid to be allowed to live. I could feel it sinking and hear the pressure building up on the outside, I thought it had been shoved off the back of a ship, or fired into space.
Then there was a whole ordeal of people who were a sect from normal society. You had the normal people like you and me and the other people who were being locked away. I was being confined and bound because I was depressed and didn’t want to live… Something like that, there was a blur of hallucinations. At one point I thought I had actually committed suicide, and my mother as well. There was no heaven or hell, just these “pods” that we were floating around in and we could earn the right to be re-integrated into society. People didn’t age once they became “pure human beings” - maybe I was close to death then and that is the afterlife, who knows. I tried to go into nothingness, but came back because I felt there was something here still I needed to do…. I had a lot of strange hallucinations.
I thought I was in some sort of government research facility and being irradiated in the cell, and what I can only describe as “nanoids” would attack me constantly. I smashed my head against the wall repeatedly to knock myself out so someone would come to check on me and I’d have another chance to escape, and it worked but I failed and ended up in another cell with more nanoids and a higher level of radiation. They were grafting onto my skin, using my skin cells to generate more of themselves… I was terrified. I thought I was going to die alone in a police cell with no-one knowing where I was.
Luckily my mother found out where I was and paid me into rehab. She saved my life. I met some interesting characters and had some interesting conversations. I was a mess when I went in but now I’m on the way to getting my life back. This has been invaluable life-experience for me, it’s taught me that life is too short to waste and changed me for the better.
So, my friends, despite the health-benefits and enjoyable experiences that can be had from GHB - you know the risks, don’t be stupid. I was lucky, you might not be. In moderation it can be the best thing on the planet, but if you’re down and you go on a bender… Don’t do it with GHB or any of it’s precursors. Get some anti-depressants and some counselling. Have a few nights on the beer, whatever. Just don’t end up where I did, you may not be as lucky to have such supportive family in your life as I have.
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