GHB/GBL “G”

It is always safest not to take unknown or illicit drugs at all.  However, if you do decide to use G, be informed on the risks involved and how to be as safe as possible.

 

What is it? 
  • G is the name given to the drugs GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) and GBL (gamma butyrolactone). 
  • Other names include G, Gina, Liquid E and Liquid ecstasy. 
  • GHB is an odourless, oily liquid, with a slightly salty taste, usually sold in small bottles or capsules.  The effects usually occur within 15-20 minutes and last up to 3-4 hours.  
  • GBL is a liquid with a chemical smell and taste.  GBL is a precursor to GHB, which means that it is converted to GHB inside your body after swallowing.  It has a faster onset of action than GHB, and is often more potent – so a smaller dose is required to have the same effect. 
  • G is usually swallowed in its liquid form, often mixed with water or a soft drink. Never mix G with alcohol as these 2 substances interact and can lead to death.  Less often it is snorted or inhaled.  Injecting G is dangerous.
What does it do? 
  • Both GHB and GBL are depressant drugs which can produce a high with small doses, and cause sedation with only slightly higher doses.  People report that G makes them feel euphoric, with a loss of inhibitions, increased confidence, and a higher sex drive.
What are the risks?
  • It is easy to overdose on G, as there is not much difference (less than one millilitre) between a dose that gets a person high, and a dose that has them “going under” – becoming unconscious and unresponsive.
  • Avoid mixing G with alcohol. This can increase the risk of going under, and delay the time it takes for G to take effect – interfering with safe dosing intervals.
  • A number of deaths have been caused by G. Death can result from overdose, or severe withdrawal syndrome.
  • Using G with other depressant drugs, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines and ketamine can increase the risk of going under and stopping breathing. In some cases, people might be hospitalised after using G.
  • G is addictive and dependence can develop quickly. Dependence mean people will develop withdrawal symptoms on stopping use, which can be severe and life-threatening.
  • The sedative properties of G can leave a person incoherent or comatose, so unable to give sexual consent. Taking G can put you at risk of sexual assault.
Is G illegal?
  • GHB and GBL are both Class C drugs - but GBL is available for legitimate use in industry. However, if someone supplies or possesses them knowing or believing that they will be swallowed and ingested, they are committing an offence.
  • Possession of G can get you up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
  • Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you fourteen years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.
Tips for safer use:
  • Prepare your own G. Always premeasure G carefully using a syringe or pipette that is measured in millilitres. Never swig G from the bottle.
  • Always dose yourself so you are in control of what you are taking and how much - don't let others do it for you.A typical dose varies between 0.5ml to 1,5ml, although everyone reacts differently. Even a very little dose, below 1 ml, could lead to an overdose without any warning.
  • Always use as low a dose as possible, and wait until the effects are felt, because the strength of G can vary. Wait at least 3 hours before taking a second dose. 
  • Due to the variable street quality of the drug and chemical differences between GHB and GBL, be cautious not to mix different types of G. If the drug comes from various sources, less frequent dosing is necessary to avoid accidental overdose.
  • Because G can affect your memory, always record the time you have taken the dose and keep it in a visible place.
  • Take G orally. Do not snort or inject.
  • Avoid mixing G with alcohol or other depressant drugs.
  • If you can, use food colouring to identify the G, so you won’t accidentally mix it with other drinks or water- this will reduce the possibility of overdose.
  • Store G safely, out of reach of children and other adults.
Going under – what to do:
  • If you see someone going under or collapsing while on G:
    • Place them in the recovery position to prevent them from choking.
    • Call an ambulance. Dial 999.
    • Don’t take any more drugs.
    • Stay with the person until the ambulance arrives.
    • Tell the medics what the person may have taken. Be truthful.  If available, give the medics the bottle or what is left of the G.
Withdrawal:
  • The onset of withdrawal can begin 1-2 hours after the last dose and can progress rapidly. Withdrawal can last up to 12 days.
  • Mild withdrawal symptoms include: anxiety; tremors; insomnia; vomiting and high blood pressure.
  • More severe symptoms include severe anxiety; paranoia and psychosis; confusion; delirium and hallucinations. Seizure and death may occur.
  • If you have taken G for more than 7 days in a row, DO NOT attempt to stop by yourself. Withdrawal should be a tapered process with medical supervision.  See drug services below, or attend A&E.