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From the May 1st, 1998 issue of Smart Life News [v6n6]. Copyright (c) 1998, 1999. All rights reserved.

Book Review:

The Natural Mood Enhancer

review by Troy Dickerson

GHB: The Natural Mood Enhancer
by Ward Dean, M.D., John Morgenthaler and Steven Wm. Fowkes
Smart Publications, ISBN: 0-9627418-6-8, $16.95.

Many readers will be familiar with GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) from articles previously published in Smart Drug News. Many readers may have read the book Better Sex Through Chemistry by John Morgenthaler and Dan Joy, which contained a large and comprehensive overview of the use of GHB as a prosexual compound. Given such exposure, a great many Smart Life News subscribers may be tempted to regard this new book on GHB as redundant. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

The authors certainly cover all the pertinent nuts-and-bolts issues of GHB usage. They discuss numerous indications for GHB, including narcolepsy, depression and relaxation. They provide an in-depth review of the scientific literature on GHB’s use in treating drug and alcohol withdrawal and addiction. They also discuss GHB’s ability to stimulate human growth hormone (hGH). One application I found of particular interest is GHB’s use in women to facilitatate labor and childbirth. This use truly speaks to the truth about GHB’s safety.

For the record, I have used GHB as a sleep aid and as a prosexual supplement. In both cases, I have found the substance to be effective and safe. After hundreds of doses, large and small, I’ve not a single complaint. I have personally compared notes on the use of GHB with dozens of people and have referred thousands to a variety of sources for the product.

Therefore, imagine my surprise when I began to see reports of deaths attributed to this substance that I have used on a regular basis. Reports appeared alleging that GHB was a “dangerous” illegal drug, a new “designer” drug, and a “date-rape” drug. If such charges were true, I would never have recommended this supplement to friends and family members! My initial reaction was, “This can’t be the same GHB.” But it was.

These media accounts of the dangers of GHB are indeed “horror stories,” of the sort one is more likely to associate with the entertaining fictions of Stephen King or Anne Rice. The incredible disinformation coming out of the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration is at best misleading, and at worst propaganda of a sort that would have won awards in Nazi Germany.

While one might not be surprised to see bureaucrats practicing the art of propaganda, it is distressing to see such prominent media services as CNN, Time and Newsweek doing little more than reporting the biased press releases of the FDA and DEA as irrefutable fact. With even a cursory look at the science behind GHB and the details of supposed cases of GHB “poisonings” and “comas,” it is easy to see that something’s “not right” about these reports. Why isn’t anybody asking serious questions?

If this were one of those heated debates concerning the accuracy of statistics or merits of a particular ideology, one could pass it off as a biased interpretation by the media. However, in the case of GHB, we now have people in Federal prisons who have been convicted of the “political” crime of having sold this nutritional substance! The elite of the Fourth Estate have made no effort to corroborate the validity of the charges leveled against GHB. Indeed, the media has abondoned its responsibility to the public in this situation.

Because the FDA would have to hold public hearings to ban GHB in accordance with the Food Drug & Cosmetics Act, they have resorted to this “extralegal” propaganda campaign to shore up their GHB agenda. Their latest campaign has been to make this supplement a controlled substance on a state by state basis. The FDA knows that it can’t make an open case that GHB is a dangerous new designer drug that is responsible for comas and poisonings. They simply haven’t the science to carry the issue. Instead, they have used their large public relations budgets and media contacts to demonize GHB. In California, they have succeeded in turning this nutritional supplement into a Schedule II drug requiring a triplicate prescription. Here in the Golden State, GHB is now in the same category as cocaine and morphine! Possession of this supplement without a prescription could easily mean prison time!

The authors are by no means timid in exposing the government and media lies about GHB. Numerous high profile situations are picked apart point by point. Dr. Ward Dean is a medical doctor who has been recognized as an expert witness and has testified in Federal court on the safety and toxicology of GHB. He is eminently qualified to judge the veracity of media allegations of GHB deaths. He has yet to find one case that stands up to scientific scrutiny.

Dean, Morgenthaler and Fowkes are to be applauded for putting together this very valuable volume on such an important supplement. While I have focused on the political/legal aspects of the book, I want readers to know that there is a wealth of information on the subjects of using, obtaining and even making GHB. This volume is a “must have” for the libraries of all health enthusiasts.

Editors Note: Troy Dickerson used to write for Smart Drug News under the name T. Michael Hardy. This is his first review for us since he left CERI to work for LifeLink. You can reach him there at 805-473-1389.