This information is provided by DAN 24/7 the All Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline. Freephone 0808 808 2234      Click to Print This Page

GHB information from DAN 24/7

Common Names

GBH, liquid ecstasy, liquid e, liquid X, blue nitro.

Scientific Names

Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid

Generic Name

Gammahydroxybutyrate, Sodium Oxybate

Effects Of GHB

Desired Effects:

Include euphoria, decreased inhibition, relaxation. Because it promotes growth hormone secretion, some bodybuilders use it to increase muscle mass. The effects can last from 1.5 to 3 hours, or even longer if large doses have been consumed or if it is mixed with alcohol.


Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, disorientation, agitation, visual disturbances, short-term memory loss.



Overdose, convulsions, coma or respiratory collapse. Despite these rapid recovery is usual and there have been no recorded deaths solely from GHB. Using in combination with other drugs, particularly alcohol increases the risks and can prove fatal. GHB has been implicated in a number of drug assisted rapes when mixed into alcohol.


Possibility of physical and psychological dependence, and withdrawal after continual use.

What it looks like

Synthetic drug. In its basic form it is a clear salty liquid but can be artificially coloured blue. Occasionally comes in powder, tablet or capsule form.

How does it work?

Sedative anaesthetic, central nervous system depressant.

Legal status

Class C under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

How Is It Taken?

Orally, usually in small doses such as a teaspoon (5ml) at a time.


GHB is usually sold in small plastic bottles, containing around 40ml.

Medical uses

As a pre-surgery sedative, treatment for cataplexy in patients with narcolepsy (sleep disorder).

Where does it come from?

GHB is mostly manufactured and distributed illicitly via mail order, unless manufactured pharmaceutically for the medical industry.

Helping services

Most areas of the UK have ‘street agencies’ or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, needle exchange, and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. If use of this substance becomes a problem you can seek help, advice and counselling from a service in your area. GPs can make referrals to specialist drug services. For a description of what the different drug services do, choose helping services from here or the main menu.

Parents & other relatives

Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.

If you would like to talk about GHB problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234

This information is provided by DAN 24/7 the All Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline. Freephone 0808 808 2234      Click to Print This Page