GBH, GHB, fantasy, liquid e, GBL
GHB was originally developed in the 1960s as an anaesthetic and to promote sleep before surgery, but was discontinued due to side effects. Since the 1990s It has been used as a recreational psychoactive drug.
GHB can come as a clear liquid, which is sold in small glass or plastic bottles. The liquid has no smell but a slightly salty taste. It also comes in white powder form, which is dissolved in water.
method of use
Swallowed. It is unclear what a typical dose is. Some consider that a 40ml bottle contains three doses. However, the concentration of the drug may vary.
GHB is a naturally occurring component of human tissue cells.
It is most widely used by clubbers in the UK as a dance drug, similar to Ecstasy, but is very different in many ways.
The effect of GHB is very dose dependent. In small doses it can have aphrodisiac effects and promote feelings of euphoria, well being, relaxation and calmness. At higher doses it can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, loss of consciousness and coma.
Body builders have used GHB, as it is believed to release a hormone in the body which may increase muscle growth. It also promotes deep sleep.
The effects have been known to last for days, though more commonly for a few hours.
There is no real way of knowing how strong the GHB in a bottle might be. Some products contain a higher concentration of GHB than others.
If too much is taken, the relaxation gives way to drowsiness and the risk of unconsciousness and coma increases. Using GHB with other sedative drugs such as tranquillisers dramatically increases the chance of unconsciousness and other problems occurring, including depressed breathing.
There have been some reports of fatal cases in the UK.
Illicit GHB is often carelessly made using industrial chemicals of unknown purity. Left over caustic soda in the product can badly burn the mouth.
Remember, there is no quality control in the production of GHB.
GHB has been implicated in a number of rape cases. It has been alleged that the drug has been added to someone's drink without them knowing and they have been sexually assaulted whilst unconscious.
No dependency cases have been reported with GHB, but the long term consequences of the drug are currently unknown.
Although it is important to drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids when using drugs in a hot club, drinking too much can be risky too. A user dancing in a hot club should drink only one pint of water per hour, not more, and eat something salty to replace lost body salts.
Remember to take time out and cool down.
If someone collapses (eyes rolled back, erratic breathing, skin cold and clammy) call an ambulance, tell them what they have taken.
GHB is a class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.