( 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 it's 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.
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.
HAVE YOU BEEN A VICTIM?: If you think you have been drugged and raped, check out our legal advice page.
'Date-rape' drug banned (BBC June 2003)
Cogitive Enhancement Research Institute
London Toxicology Group
GHB info at The Vaults 0f Erowid
Times report of GBH fatality
Campaign call over spiked drinks (BBC Dec 2003)
...and a cautionary tale...
Man removes girls teeth on GHB (BBC Nov 2002)
The drug was, rather surprisingly, used by body builders in the 1980s for its ability to stimulate growth hormone release which aids in fat reduction and muscle building.
GHB has been used as a general anaesthetic
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