Gamma hydroxybutyrate or GHB

Essay by lukecasley November 2004

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GHB stands for gamma hydroxybutyrate, sodium oxybate. GHB is an odourless, colourless, saltwater-like liquid. It is normally sold in small, 30-millilitre clear plastic bottles.

GHB's most noticeable effect is euphoria; a small will make you feel relaxed and uninhibited, kind of tipsy. But more than that can cause sedation, and will slow you down until you fall asleep. No hallucinations or visual effects occur and GHB makes you extroverted rather than introspective. With larger doses, noticeable effects include slurring of speech, drowsiness, nausea, incoherence and difficulty focusing. The effects of GHB may become apparent after about 5-15 minutes, and come on strongly after 20-30 minutes. They can last for 2-4 hours. Some users have reported that GHB is habit-forming if used regularly.

Reports have been received of GHB being used as an aphrodisiac since, in moderate doses, it can cause sexual arousal.

This is one of the reasons why it has a reputation as a "date-rape" drug, the other being the obvious danger of being unconscious for a few hours.

GHB is very dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Both have a sedative effect on your body, therefore mixing the two can lead to deep unconsciousness, put you into a coma or even kill you.

It is described in any different ways but Mike, 26 says it was like walking on marshmallows. It took about half an hour to take effect.

G is a liquid -- they put food colour in it. There are no hallucinations. With any kind of drug that gives you a sense of euphoria -- ecstasy or GBH or cocaine -- you become more amorous. You can find people really attractive, and then you wake up the next morning and go "oh!". It's like beer goggles times 10, because when you're doing these drugs that...