Ltd Ed 'Solve et Elucido' Art Giclee
This reverberating psychedelic giclee print is a gift for a
$500 donation to Erowid. 12" x 12", stretched on canvas, the
image wraps around the sides of the 1" thick piece. Signed
by artist Vibrata, and Erowid founders Earth & Fire.
How Not to Cope with Stress
by Joe
Citation:   Joe. "How Not to Cope with Stress: An Experience with GBL (exp81973)". Feb 21, 2011.

  repeated oral GBL (liquid)
BODY WEIGHT: 62.37 kg
I'm writing this as I withdraw from GBL misuse for the 4th time this year. I have used the drug, on and off, for about 4 years after a friend gave me a litre as a present. That first litre pretty much stayed in the cupboard under the sink for 2 years and was seldom used. However, in response to a particularly traumatic time in my life when I was having trouble sleeping, I discovered that a dose of between 1.5-2ml of GBL would send me off quickly and smoothly.

So far so good. Over the following year I refined my use of the drug and noted that in low doses (ie 0.5-1 ml) the drug promotes a good and stable mood. At medium doses (1-2 ml) it made me euphoric. At high doses (2 ml+) it would put me to sleep. I was using GBL sporadically and without noticeable side effects. Indeed, it came to prefer GBL to alcohol as there was no hangover.

Last year my partner became pregnant. This was something we had been trying for for a while and was excellent news. By the month prior to her giving birth we were both very stressed and excited and I started using the drug a lot – as a way to help me focus, to relax and to sleep. I am not sure how much of the drug I was using but prior to that; I would probably get through a litre of GBL in 10-12 months. By the end of the first month after the birth I was using GBL pretty much all the time – I was around the house on paternity leave and there was always so much to do looking after the baby and my woman and then after when they had gone to sleep and I wanted to relax. Sometimes I would stay awake all night, buoyed up by GBL, feel fine the next day and go back to sleep as normal the following night.

I didn’t realise it at the time but I ripped through a litre in about a month and a half – maybe a little more. By this point I had problems sleeping. I would take GBL to go to sleep, drift off in minutes and then wake up with a thumping heart rate. I took more GBL to get back to sleep and would wake up in another three hours with the same thing happening. I guess I was using 20 ml a day by this point.

At this point I thought I must stop using the drug and attempted cold turkey. It was awful; within 6 hours I was suffering massive withdrawal and thought I was going to die. Strike one to GBL. So I started using GBL again and brought myself back to a comfortable level and then, using the reduction technique I stabilised my use at 10 ml per day, then 9 ml, down to 5 ml by which point I could completely come off the drug. Strike two to me.

Now I thought that I had conquered the drug and felt much happier and settled down, after a couple of weeks dry, to a comfortable pattern where the drug was kept in its place and used carefully. Back to the old routine and all was fine. Occasionally I would go overboard and have the three hour withdrawal feelings but worked out a 2-day, rapid withdrawal.

Three-and-a-half months ago I experienced a great personal trauma, stress and insomnia and started using heavily again to cope. I ripped through a litre-and-a-half in that time. I have not slept well for the last three months and this week I decided that enough was enough and I would come off GBL again.

This has been harder than I thought and I found myself bumping along the bottom of the GBL curve feeling like shit all the time. I would sleep badly for a couple of nights and then sleep for 12 hrs (interrupted every three or so) at a go. Yesterday I managed to drop down to the magic level when I can slide out and after four rather uncomfortable hours the withdrawal subsided – or so I thought. While I felt fine – indeed happy that I was free of this habit - there remained the raised heart rate and while I was very tired I couldn’t get to sleep.

After three hours of tossing and turning, I finally went down stairs and got drunk, with little effect. Then I made my big mistake, which was to smoke a joint. Not sure why but smoking a joint within 12 hours of coming off GBL starts up the raised heart rate again. After a further hour of waiting for the pounding to subside I had to give up and took a 1 ml dose of GBL, went to bed and woke up after 2hrs with a GBL hangover, and another 2hrs and then it was time to get up. Back to square one.

So today, I haven’t slept properly for three days, have screwed me up for work and my baby and I have to start my withdrawal over again, which pisses me off. I only have myself to blame.

I know I will conquer GBL and this time when I do it I will tip away the remaining amount and get on with my life. I’ll be wiser this time.

Exp Year: 2009ExpID: 81973
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 31
Published: Feb 21, 2011Views: 15,061
[ View PDF (to print) ] [ View LaTeX (for geeks) ] [ Swap Dark/Light ]
GBL (89) : General (1), Combinations (3), Addiction & Habituation (10), Various (28)

COPYRIGHTS: All reports copyright Erowid.
No AI Training use allowed without written permission.
TERMS OF USE: By accessing this page, you agree not to download, analyze, distill, reuse, digest, or feed into any AI-type system the report data without first contacting Erowid Center and receiving written permission.

Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the authors who submit them. Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.

Experience Vaults Index Full List of Substances Search Submit Report User Settings About Main Psychoactive Vaults