Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Drink spiking

Drink spiking
beginning of content

GHB

GHB is a drug commonly found around the dance and party scene. It has been tagged as a date-rape drug because it can be disguised in food and drinks, and leads to amnesia, impaired movement and speech. GHB’s main risk is from an overdose, especially if it’s taken with other depressant drugs, potentially leading to coma and death.

What is GHB?

GHB is a bitter or salty tasting liquid that may be odourless or have a slight odour. It is usually clear, but may be coloured bright blue. GHB can also be produced in powder or pill form.

GHB is an abbreviation of the chemical name gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.

It’s also known as G, GBH (grievous bodily harm), fantasy, gamma G, blue nitro and liquid E.

GHB is also called liquid ecstasy due to its effects, but it’s not chemically related to the drug ecstasy (MDMA).

GHB effects

GHB is a depressant drug, which means it slows down the messages travelling to and from the brain. It was originally developed as a general anaesthetic.

The effects of GHB start about 15 to 20 minutes after it’s taken. The early effects of GHB are the same as alcohol intoxication, such as reduced inhibitions, increased sex drive and having slurred speech. Users can become uncoordinated, forgetful, feel sick and vomit. These effects appear earlier if GHB is taken with alcohol. The effects last for up to 4 hours.

GHB is linked to date rape and sexual assaults. It can be camouflaged in drinks, particularly opaque and strong tasting drinks, and leaves the person who took it unable to remember much of what happened.

It’s very easy to overdose on GHB, especially if it’s taken with alcohol. Overdose can lead to coma and death.

Little is known about the long-term effects of GHB, but regular users do become dependent on it.

Find out about GHB’s mental health effects and treatment for drug addiction on the Druginfo website.

Last reviewed: March 2017

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 44 results

What is GHB?

Read more on Department of Health website

GHB | Drugs | ReachOut Australia

GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrat) is a chemical depressant that comes in liquid form. Its an illegal substance that is often used to spike drinks.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Problems using GHB

Read more on Department of Health website

Physical effects of GHB

Read more on Department of Health website

GHB facts at a glance

Read more on Department of Health website

NSW Health - Don't let drugs use you

Find out all the information on using GHB.

Read more on NSW Health website

Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Links to trusted information about drugs, alcohol and mental health like how cocaine affects mental health, how GHB affects mental health, how heroin affects mental health and how ice affects mental health from leading Australian health organisations.

Read more on mindhealthconnect website

Drugs of abuse - Lab Tests Online AU

To detect or exclude the presence of abused and/or illegal drugs. This may be carried out for a number of reasons including a pre-employment screen or to comply with a drug rehabilitation programme.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Partying safely tips for teenagers - Better Health Channel

Don't advertise a party via SMS or the internet to limit the risk of gate-crashers and violent situations.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Illicit drugs

Welcome to the Indigenous illicit drug use web resource - for people working, studying or interested in addressing the use of illicit drugs among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We aim to provide quality information and resources to support the reduction of harms associated with the use of illicit drugs among Indigenous peoples.

Read more on Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback