Gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) - Drug Addiction

This is a type of sedative which along with gammabutyrolactone (GBL) results in euphoria and reduced inhibitions on the part of the user. It can also cause sleepiness.

It is a colourless liquid which is either swallowed or taken as a capsule and is considered to have similar effects to ecstasy. It is often known as ‘liquid ecstasy’. 

It is a dangerous drug which is potentially fatal especially if combined with other substances such as alcohol or other types of sedatives.

Another problem with this drug is the fact that it is linked to several ‘date rape’ cases. It reduces inhibitions and causes users to feel drowsy and fall asleep which can make them vulnerable to sexual assault.

What is ‘GHB?’ 

This is primarily a form of anaesthetic which has medical applications but has been used as a recreational drug. It has a slightly salty taste and is taken orally. GBL is very similar and is found in solvents such as stain removers and paint strippers/thinners.

What does GHB look like?

This is a clear, odourless, salty liquid which is bought in capsules or small bottles. The purity of this liquid varies but there have been cases where people have experienced a burnt mouth as a result of the toxicity. 

How is GHB used?

It is purchased as a small bottle of liquid which is swallowed as it comes or mixed with a soft drink.

The effects tend to kick in anywhere from several minutes to an hour and last for several hours.

What is its street name?

GHB is known as:

  • Liquid ecstasy
  • One comma four
  • Enliven
  • Midnight blue
  • Blue nitro
  • Serenity

Who uses GHB?

It is a feature of the UK gay scene (clubs) and nightclubs in general but is not a popularly used drug compared to some of the others.

How much does it cost?

A small bottle of GHB (around 30ml) can cost around £15.

What are the effects of GHB?

Small amounts can reduce inhibitions, increase sex drive and cause a feeling of relaxation. It is also responsible for calmness and mild euphoria. It affects the amount of dopamine released in the brain which causes enjoyment and pleasure.

The strength of this liquid varies between bottles so it is easy to take an overdose.

Is it easy to become addicted to GHB?

There is a risk of becoming dependent on GHB due to these effects.

What are the risks of GHB?

A major risk is that of sexual assault as GHB acts in a very similar way to the date rape drug Rohypnol. It causes people to lose their inhibitions or to even fall asleep which can then out them in a potentially dangerous situation.

Too large a dose will result in:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Coma
  • Death

This drug is even more dangerous if taken with other substances such as alcohol or recreational drugs.

GHB is a Class C drug. 

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