Drugs – GHB – Gammahydroxybutyrate


( Liquid ecstasy, BDO, GBH, Blue Nitro, Midnight Blue, RenewTrient, Reviarent, SomatoPro, Serenity, Enliven)


In the last few years, GHB (gammahydroxybutyrate) has become popular on the rave scene, with users enjoying an alcohol-like high with potent positive sexual effects.




GHB is a fairly low toxicity substance with medical and recreational uses. It affects the release of dopamine in the brain, causing effects ranging from relaxation to sleep at low doses.


The drug is usually sold in small 30ml plastic containers (approx £15) and consumed in capfuls. A small capful can make you feel uninhibited, exhilarated, relaxed and feeling good with the effects lasting as long as day, although it is difficult to give a clear ‘safe’ dose, as the concentration of the liquid will vary.


Bigger doses can lead to disorientation, nausea, a numbing of the muscles or muscle spasms and vomiting.


(Also see: GBL, gamma butyrolactone (geeb)



The drug can take anything from 10 minutes to an hour to take effect, so wait until the first hit kicks in before taking any more. Its strength varies wildly, so always take a small amount first. Because of its disabling effects, you are exposed to the threat of sexual assault, so be very, very wary of who you’re with.


Increasingly, there have been reports of the drug being used as a ‘date rape’ drug (like Rohypnol), with victims being slipped the drug via alcohol, or in coffee, tea or hot chocolate (it is almost tasteless).


A Home Office report in June 2000 questioned 123 victims of such drug assisted assaults, and found that 70% of the rapists were known to the victim and 12% were given the drug in their home, 10% on a university campus. One in five victims could not remember the assault while around 70% felt physically unable to resist (source: Guardian 22.06.00).






Health risks:

Unknown at present, although there have been reports of people suffering convulsions and collapsing and a recent fatality in the UK (Oct 97). urban75 has received several reports of users being hospitalised with stomach and breathing problems, although there is almost always other drugs involved.




The drug, which is derived from an American anaesthetic, lowers blood pressure and in some cases people find breathing difficult. Overdosing can lead to a loss of consciousness and coma. It is not recommended that asthmatics or those with any form of respiratory or low blood pressure disorders take this drug.





“Clubland’s therapist” David Parker – aka the Swarmite – recently set up Homovision Rehab (www.homovision.tv/category/rehab-withthe-swarmite) to reach out to the thousands of gay men on “Comedown Tuesday”.










HM Law

The Law:

As of 30th June 2003, GHB, or gammahydroxybutrate is categorised as a Class C drug in the UK, with dealers facing up to five years in jail and possession punishable by up to two years.










Special note:

This site is all about harm reduction. We realise that some people will take drugs no matter what advice they are given. This guide is to be for information purposes only. It is not medical advice. If you are being coerced into taking drugs, or are in any doubt about taking a substance, our advice is to always refuse.




This powerful documentary-style video alerts viewers to the very grave dangers of GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), a popular club drug with nicknames such as “Georgia Home Boy,” or “Grievous Bodily Harm.” GHB is an addictive sedative that is popular among teens who mistakenly assume that it is a safe drug, since it was once sold in stores as a food supplement. In fact, GHB was banned from legal sale in 1990, and in recent years has caused more overdoses and deaths than Ecstasy. Viewers learn that GHB, which is created in illegal and “dirty” labs, is a powerful depressant that is often used as a date rape drug. Odorless, tasteless and colorless, it can be slipped into drinks without detection. Video includes a jolting interview with Judi Clark, mother of 15 year-old Samantha Reid who died as a result of an overdose after drinking a soda laced with GHB. Viewers will hear important facts on how to avoid unintentionally consuming GHB and other club drugs. They will also gain a new insight into the damage that this life-threatening drug causes to the body, as well as learn the symptoms of GHB overdose and the importance of swift medical attention. Teacher’s Resource Book includes a variety of student worksheets designed to continue your students’ exploration of this dangerous drug.