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GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrat) is a chemical depressant that comes in liquid form. It’s an illegal substance that is often used to spike drinks.

This can help if:

  • you want to know more about GHB
  • you’re thinking of taking GHB and want to know the facts
  • you’re curious about why people take GHB.
GHB

What is GHB?

GHB is a depressant drug that slows down the messages sent to and from your brain. It’s a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain, but when taken in extra doses it can be very dangerous. It’s also known as liquid ecstasy, fantasy and grievous bodily harm.

What does GHB do to you?

All drugs affect people differently, depending on their size, mood, and previous experience with drugs. GHB has different effects at different doses, which means you have to be careful when choosing how much to take.

When you first take it, you might:

  • feel good, relaxed and confident
  • fall asleep or pass out
  • really enjoy touching things
  • feel confused and agitated.

Physically, you might:

  • feel very sleepy
  • hallucinate, or have vision problems
  • vomit
  • go into a coma
  • feel dizzy, sick or have a headache
  • stop breathing.

Other issues with GHB

  • Overdose: Even a small dose of GHB can cause an overdose. If someone is talking nonsense, sweating profusely, vomiting or unable to stand, call 000 and follow the instructions of the operator.
  • Mixing it with other drugs: GHB doesn’t mix well with other drugs, especially other depressants such as Valium or alcohol. Drinking alcohol on GHB can be fatal. If you take GHB, make sure you don’t take anything else with it.
  • Dosage: It’s very hard to know how much pure GHB you’re taking, and how it will affect you. Always take a very small amount and wait to see the effect. People often take a small amount and only feel mild effects, so they assume they can take more. But this is very dangerous as the effects can compound and become more severe – even fatal – if you take too much.

How do I know if I’m addicted to GHB?

It’s possible to get hooked on GHB or to develop a tolerance, where you feel like you need more to get the same effect. Some signs that you’re developing a dependence on GHB include:

  • confusion
  • not being able to relax
  • anxiety
  • feelings of dread
  • paranoia
  • body shakes and cramps
  • profuse sweating
  • hallucinations or delirium
  • irregular heartbeat.

If you take GHB regularly and have any of the above symptoms, it’s important that you talk to a doctor or a mental health worker about your drug use.

What can I do now?

  • Read more about addiction.
  • Try ReachOut NextStep and find the help that’s right for you.
  • Talk to a doctor about your drug use.