GHB/GBL

Liquid Ecstasy, Geebs, GBL, GBH, 4-BD, 1
questionmarkWhat are GHB and GBL?

GHB (gammahydroxybutrate) and GBL (gammabutyrolactone), are closely related, dangerous drugs with similar sedative and anaesthetic effects. 

 GBL is converted to GHB shortly after entering the body. Both produce a feeling of euphoria and can reduce inhibitions and cause sleepiness. 

But both can kill and are particularly dangerous when used with alcohol and other depressant or sedative substances.

When they are sold as drugs they are usually sold as an odourless, colourless, oily liquid in small bottles or capsules and they both taste slightly salty. A teaspoon or a capful is a normal dose although the strength of GHB varies so it can be very difficult for people to know how much they're taking, making it easy to overdose. 

There is a form of GHB (called iGHB) that does come in powder form but is rare. Prices can vary from region to region, on average a 30ml plastic container of GHB costs about £15.

GHB has a medical use in the treatment of narcolepsy, while GBL has a legitimate use as a stain remover, rust remover, alloy cleaner, superglue remover and as a paint stripper.

What are the effects of GHB/GBL?

GHB and GBL produce essentially the same effects: feelings of euphoria, reduced inhibitions and drowsiness. The effects start after about 10 minutes to an hour and can last for up to seven hours or so.

What are the risks of GHB/GBL?

Taking GHB and/or GBL does involve risks. Here’s what it could do to you:

  • Both GHB and GBL can cause unconsciousness, coma and death
  • Even experienced users are at risk of death.
  • Because GHB and GBL can really knock you out, they've been linked to drug assisted sexual assault.
  • When mixed badly, it can really burn the mouth.
exclamationmarkGHB and GBL and alcohol

GBL/GHB are particularly dangerous when used with alcohol. The strength of GHB and GBL varies widely from bottle to bottle.  At present there is little reliable evidence to determine the purity of GBL.

Can you get addicted to GHB and GBL?

Yes, repeated use is now known to cause dependence in some people. Very severe withdrawals with delirium have been reported – especially in unplanned detoxifications when people have been unable to get GHB or GBL.

lawiconGHB and GBL and the law

GHB and GBL are both Class C drugs - but GBL is available for legitimate use in industry, but if someone supplies or possesses them knowing or believing that they will be swallowed and ingested, they are committing an offence.

Possession can get you up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you 14 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine

lightbulbDid you know?
  • A conviction for a drug-related offence could have a serious impact. It can stop you visiting certain countries – for example the United States – and limit the types of jobs you can apply for.
  • Like drinking and driving, driving while impaired from using GHB and/or GBL is illegal – you can get a heavy fine, be disqualified from driving or even go to prison.
  • Allowing other people to supply drugs in your house or any other premises is illegal. If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a club they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any person concerned in the management of the premises.
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that it is an offence to administer a substance, like GHB and GBL, to a person with intent to overpower that person to enable sexual activity with them.  This is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

Drugs & Alcohol


Legal Highs

Legal Highs’ are substances which produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

They are considered illegal to sell, supply or advertise for “human consumption” under current medicines legislation. To get round this sellers will refer to them as research chemicals, plant food, bath crystals or pond cleaner.

There are a large number of legal highs, but here are a few key facts:

  • Just because a drug is legal to possess, it doesn’t mean it’s safe.
  • It is becoming increasingly clear that ‘legal highs’ are far from harmless and can have similar health risks to drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and speed.
  • Risks of ‘legal highs’ can include reduced inhibitions, drowsiness, excited or paranoid states, coma, seizures, and death.
  • These risks are increased if used with alcohol or other drugs.
  • It is likely that drugs sold as a ‘legal high’ may actually contain one or more substances that are actually illegal to possess. What you may think is a legal high that you can’t get in trouble for having, could be something completely different, and in fact a class B drug.

Worried About Someone?

Not all drugs are addictive, and everybody that uses drugs doesn’t become dependent. When drug use becomes problematic it can lead to addiction and signs this has happen can include:

  • The need for regular use.
  • Constantly have drugs in their possession.
  • Strange and ‘out of character’ behavior
  • Mood Swings
  • Physical changes like Weight loss
  • Sometimes people don’t recognise their drug use has become a problem. They refuse to believe that they are addicted or dependent. If you think you think a friend has a problem and you want to help them, think about how you're going to approach it and what you’re going to say?

    It could be a sensitive subject for them and you don’t what to looking like you’re getting. They may not listen to you at first but don’t let this put you off. The best thing that you can do is to be there for them, to support and encourage them to change. You can also help by keeping your friend away from situations that can trigger or expose them to drug use.

    Some people are able to overcome their issues with drugs before any serious harm has been done to them, or their family and friends. Other users have to hit rock bottom before they can see the harm and damage they are doing and start addressing their drug use.