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Last updated : May 10, 2019
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.1
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.2
G, fantasy, grievous bodily harm (GBH), juice, liquid ecstasy, liquid E, liquid X, Georgia Home Boy, soap, scoop, cherry meth, blue nitro, fishies.
GHB is usually swallowed, but sometimes it’s injected or inserted anally.3,4
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.
GHB affects everyone differently, based on:
The following effects may begin within 15 to 20 minutes of taking GHB and may last for around 3 to 4 hours:
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 by dialling triple zero (000). Ambulance officers do not have to involve the police.
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 to help with the symptoms of the come down after using stimulants can lead to an addiction to both drugs.
Giving up GHB after using it for a long time is challenging because the body has to get used to functioning without it. This is why it’s important to speak to a health professional when planning to stop using GHB.
Withdrawal symptoms usually start about 12 hours after the last dose and can continue for about 15 days.
These symptoms can include:
Sudden withdrawal from high doses can result in bowel and bladder incontinence and blackouts 5.
If your use of GHB is affecting your health, family, relationships, work, school, financial or other life situations, you can find help and support.