A qualitative analysis of GHB use among gay men: Reasons for use despite potential adverse outcomes

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Abstract

This paper examines the use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) among a sample of gay men in New York City, who identify GHB as their most frequently used club drug. The sample was drawn from a larger longitudinal investigation of club drug using men. Thematic analysis yielded findings regarding perceived stigma for GHB use, tolerance of potential adverse side effects, and reasons for why some prefer this substance to other club drugs. Specifically, our findings suggest that GHB is viewed unfavorably in many social circles, that side effects are tolerated by frequent GHB users, and that the drug is chosen over other substances because the short duration of action, energy boost, sleep assistance, increase in libido, and limited after-effects. Examining the reasons why men use this substance will lead to the development of GHB specific prevention strategies, which accurately address the consequences of use as well as the motivations that individuals possess for using the substance. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Palamar, J. J., & Halkitis, P. N. (2006). A qualitative analysis of GHB use among gay men: Reasons for use despite potential adverse outcomes. International Journal of Drug Policy, 17(1), 23–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2005.11.002

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