What is GHB?
GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) is a depressant, which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body. GBL (gamma butyrolactone) and 1,4-BD (1,4-butanediol) are chemicals that are closely related to GHB. Once GBL or 1,4-BD enter the body, they convert to GHB almost immediately. GHB usually comes as a colourless, odourless, bitter or salty liquid, which is usually sold in small bottles or vials. It can also come as a bright blue liquid known as ‘blue nitro’, and less commonly as a crystal powder.
G, fantasy, grievous bodily harm (GBH), juice, liquid ecstasy, liquid E, liquid X, Georgia Home Boy, soap, scoop, cherry meth, blue nitro, fishies. How is it used? GHB is usually swallowed, but sometimes it’s injected or inserted anally.
Effects of GHB
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk. GHB affects everyone differently, based on:
• The amount taken
• The strength of the drug (varies from batch to batch)
• Size, weight and health
• Whether the person is used to taking it
• Whether other drugs are taken around the same time
The following effects may begin within 15 to 20 minutes of taking GHB and may last for around 3 to 4 hours:
• Feelings of euphoria
• Increased sex drive
• Lowered inhibitions
The chemical composition of GHB is highly variable. It’s very easy to take too much GHB: the difference between the amount needed to get high and the amount that causes an overdose can be hard to judge.
If the dose is too high, you might overdose. If you have any of these symptoms, call an ambulance straight away
• Irregular or shallow breathing
• Confusion, irritation and agitation
• Blackouts and memory loss
• Unconsciousness that can last for 3 to 4 hours
Little is known about the long-term effects of GHB use. However, it is known that regular use can lead to tolerance and dependence, which means larger amounts of GHB are needed to get the same effect. Using GHB with other drugs
• GHB + alcohol or benzodiazepines: chance of overdose is greatly increased.
• GHB + amphetamines or ecstasy: enormous strain on the body and risk of seizures.
Using GHB to help with the symptoms of the come down after using stimulants can lead to an addiction to both drugs.