I've found out about a staggeringly odd condition apparently emerging from long-term phenibut/GHB use. In some rare cases, the excess use of phenibut and/or GHB has caused an unique condition featuring the following unique symptoms:
1) pleasure doesn't occur anymore in response to pleasurable stimuli: consummatory anhedonia* (scroll down to the bottom of this post)
2) opioids do not function anymore: diminished or zero response to exogenous opioids in terms of all effects including euphoria, analgesia and respiratory depression
3) rewarding drugs lose their euphoric and pleasurable effects: stimulants, benzos etc.
4) high tolerance to GABA-B agonists persists especially in terms of the pleasant effects: the threshold for phenibut and GHB remains at many grams and pleasant effects may be impossible to induce regardless of the dose
The evidence for this is very limited as it's apparently an extremely rare condition and phenibut/GHB abuse is much less prevalent than that of other recreational drugs, however here are reports from three people (a GHB, a GBL and a phenibut user). I will post links later when I can (10 post limit), the first two come from a thread at Bluelight and the third from a thread at Longecity.
So here's how the GHB user described his withdrawal syndrome:
I have also personally experienced a MARKED (almost complete) reduction of the euphoric effects of dopaminergic drugs.
A speedball made me feel "high" but not as blissful as a speedball should be.
Here's what had happened to the GBL user:
Think i've experienced this, was using GBL uh probably "too often" heh, and some benzo's as well, after stopping both suddenly, I found that I could eat 30mg hydrocodone, and feel almost 'nothing'... no opiate tolerance..
And here's the phenibut user from Longecity:
For a period of time after my withdrawal from Phenibut last year I experienced consummatory anhedonia in that I really anticipated and wanted to experience pleasure but I never got the response. Pretty sure I would have been immune to opioid drugs.
There were a couple of other threads too, can't find them at the moment but I'll try to dig them up.
The point is that apparently excess use of GABA-B agonists can damage the brain's pleasure pathways in such ways that the four symptoms I mentioned occur. The questions are: what is the culprit, what's happening in the brain? What could help? Has anyone of you experienced this?
I think I will post about the possible neurochemical mechanisms behind this on the Advanced Hypothesis & Theory forum, here I'd like to discuss about the more down-to-earth side of this, like have you experienced this etc.
So what's my story? I never used phenibut or GHB. But I seem to have these symptoms! They started to occur some years ago and have been really strong for a long time now. I feel I have complete consummatory anhedonia (yet zero normal anhedonia): I have ZERO response to opioids (morphine, codeine): I get very little if any pleasure/euphoria from recreational drugs (stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens): and I have extremely high threshold for phenibut and GHB. Note that I never used drugs prior to self-medication experiments that I recently began. I'm rather convinced that my pathology shares the mechanisms of phenibut/GHB abuse induced CA due to the strikingly similar symptoms and that's why I'm approaching the topic via phenibut/GHB use.
Whatever you've got in your mind, say it loud, I want all the ideas and thoughts no matter how silly they might be. I need fresh perspective. Thank you.
*Consummatory anhedonia is a completely distinct phenomenon from the typical anhedonia which may more accurately be described as anticipatory anhedonia. In essence, consummatory anhedonia (CA) means the inability to experience pleasure in response to pleasurable stimuli such as music, sugar or sexual stimulation, whilst in the typical anhedonia, also called anticipatory anhedonia, the pleasure pathways themselves are intact and the problems lie in "mental energy", emotions and motivation. The CA concept is explained in a freely accessible article called "Reconsidering Anhedonia in Depression: Lessons from Translational Neuroscience"
(can't post links)