GHB stands for Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, a central nervous system sedative often referred to by other names such as "Grievous Bodily Harm" and "Liquid Ecstasy."

GHB was once sold in health food stores as a performance enhancer for body builders because it was believed to stimulate the production of human growth hormone. As of 30th June 2003 it was 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 imprisonment.

GHB can produce drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression, and coma. Overdose of GHB can occur quickly (within 20 minutes) and can be fatal. The effects of an overdose can include deep sedation from which you cannot be awakened for about three hours, seizures, sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure, heart rate or breathing, coma and death. The effects of GHB are exacerbated when taken with alcohol or other drugs. This makes it especially dangerous when used to spike an alcoholic drink.

Since 1990, there have been over 5,700 documented cases of GHB abuse and more than 30 reported sexual assaults and 65 deaths attributed to this drug.

Reports suggest the following dosages for a 250ml drink:
(1 gram = 1/5 of a teaspoon = 4000 ppm (parts per million))

Light: 0.75-1.75g
Standard: 1.75-2.75g
Strong: 2.75-4g
Heavy: 5g or more
Overdose: 6.25g or more
Coma: 8.75g or more
Death: 10g or more

Most of the GHB used today is a "homemade" mix of various chemical ingredients, including solvents, drain cleaner and bleach. Homemade GHB is dangerous in part because there are significant differences in potency, purity, and concentration. The same amount taken from two separate batches can have very different effects. One batch could place someone in a comatose state while another could be lethal.

GHB is available in both liquid and powder forms.

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