GHB/GBL (both commonly referred to as ‘G’, despite being different drugs) are depressants that slow down the body’s functions with effects of euphoria, disinhibition and relaxation lasting up to 2.5 hours with after effects of up to 4 hours. They have a lot of different street names, so you may encounter the street names G, Fantasy, Waz, G-riffic, Goop and Liquid G.
The major risk for G is that the active dose is very small - 0.3ml - and it’s easy to accidentally use too much. It is also common to lose track of time and not be aware of when you last used.
- Feelings of euphoria
- Increased libido
- Lowered inhibitions
- Relaxed muscles - especially in the anus
- Memory lapses
- Clumsiness and or loss of motor control
- Dizziness or headache
- Lowered body temperature and heart rate
- Nausea, diarrhoea or difficulties urinating.
The effects of GHB/GBL are felt within 15 to 20 minutes and may last up to 3 or 4 hours depending on the strength of the substance and quantity consumed.
Little is known about the long-term effects that G has on the body. This is because the chemical composition of GHB/GBL varies, largely due to the method in which it is manufactured. What we do know though is this - it’s very easy to take too much G. The difference between the amount needed for a high to that of a fatal dose can be difficult to judge.
The effect of G depends on a couple of factors. For starters, you need to be sure whether you have GHB or GBL on your hands, as GBL (which is converted to GHB in your body) actually has a faster onset and is often more potent. Next, think about your body weight: if you are lighter, use less. Matching a playmate or friend’s dose is not the way to go, as bodyweight and tolerance could mean they are taking way more than you should. People often feel effects at very low doses, so remember to start with less.
Methods of taking:
- Measured and drunk (usually diluted)
- Not injected
- Not sniffed or snorted
- Not shafted/booty bumped
Use a syringe (without a needle) to measure the dose rather than guessing or swigging from a bottle. Don't let others dose you - stay in control of your own doses. Diluting in a small amount of water or soft-drink can help avoid chemical burns from G.
- Active dose: 0.3 – 0.9ml
- Common dose: 0.6 – 1.5 ml
- Risk of overdose: 1.5ml or more
At 2ml or more of GHB, unconsciousness is likely, and death is likely at 5ml or more. If people are unresponsive, they need immediate medical attention, so dial 111 and request an ambulance. Remember that GBL can be more potent, so start with a smaller dose if you know you're using GBL.
Keeping track of how much you have used and when is very important. You can set a timer on your own phone to wait at least 3 hours before using again. Remember - it's VERY easy to overdose on G. It's not uncommon to assign a "G mama" or "tripsitter" to help people keep track of doses and timing. You may even be organised enough to create a little spreadsheet or timetable that could be stuck to the fridge (or anywhere obvious) to track who's had what doses and when.
Another handy tip; G is a clear liquid that could easily be mistaken for something else. Consider storing it in a container that isn't a drinking receptacle to avoid someone else (or yourself) picking it up and taking a massive dose by mistake. You could also use a food colouring to avoid this.
The effect of G in combination with other drugs, including over-the-counter or prescribed medication, is unpredictable. Here are some of the known interactions between GHB/GBL and other drugs including prescription medications:
- GHB/GBL + Alcohol - Do not take GHB with alcohol. Just don't do it. If you have been drinking alcohol and use GHB the risk of overdose is very high. Both these drugs are depressants and the effects compound which can lead to unconsciousness, coma or death.
- GHB/GBL + Benzodiazepines greatly increases the chance of overdose.
- GHB/GBL + Amphetamines or Ecstasy places strain on the body and increases the risk of seizure. Using GHB/GBL to help with the come down of stimulants may lead to a cycle of dependence on both drugs.