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  • gamma hydroxybutyrate
  • gbh
  • ghb
  • gina
  • grievous bodily harm
  • liquid e
  • liquid x
Is GHB a problem for you?
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What is GHB?

Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and precursors (eg GBL gamma-Butyrolactone) are depressant drugs with sedative hypnotic effects, originally developed as pre-surgery anaesthetic. Depressants slow down the activity of the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.

Learn more

γ-Hydroxybutyric acid


GHB exists in the form of a white or pale coloured powder or crystals but is often sold in a liquid form in small bottles or vials. Colorants are commonly used in production to distinguish the substance from water and other liquids. It is occasionally sold as a crystal powder. GHB may have a bitter or salty taste but when mixed in a beverage it is difficult to detect.

Physical effects can include

  • feel good and confident
  • take more risks than usual
  • suffer from tremors
  • have diarrhoea or urinary incontinence

Effects depend on...

The effects of GHB appear to vary greatly according to the amount used. A small increase in amount can result in a dramatic increase in effect, i.e. overdose. 

What GHB does to you depends on how much you take, the type of GHB you take, your height and weight, your general health, your mood, your past experience with GHB, whether you use GHB on its own or with alcohol or other depressant drugs, whether you use alone or with others, at home or at a party, etc.

  • feel excited or upset
  • want to have sex
  • feel drowsy or sleepy
  • feel dizzy
  • get headaches
  • feel sick
  • vomit
  • have blackouts and memory lapses
  • have convulsions (fits)

How GHB affects your body

Tap a body part to learn more of the effects GHB places on your body.

Psychological effects can include

  • suffer memory lapses
  • become uncoordinated
  • become disorientated
  • feel confused, irritated or agitated
  • hallucinate

General information

Is GHB a problem for you?

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  • Whether you are having issues with alcohol or other drugs, are concerned about someone else’s alcohol or other drug use, or just have general questions about alcohol or other drugs, you can call ADIS any time of the day or week for support, information, counselling and referral to services in NSW.

    ADIS Web Chat is also available from Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays).

    24 hour support line

    1800 250 015

    More about Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW
  • The Alcohol & Drug Information Service (ADIS) Web Chat is a live online conversation with a professional counsellor. The service is free, confidential and open to anyone affected by alcohol and other drugs, including people concerned about their own use, or about a family member or friend. Web chat is only available for people living in NSW.

    The service is provided by ADIS at St Vincent's Hospital, in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health.

    What to expect

    • A counsellor will chat with you about your alcohol or other drug concerns
    • A counsellor can provide a referral or contact information for relevant alcohol and drug services in NSW

    To start a web chat counselling session read and accept the 'Terms and Conditions of Use' below.

    Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a drug and alcohol counsellor over the phone, please call the National Alcohol and Other Drug helpline on 1800 250 015 which will direct you to your state service. The helpline is available 24/7 for anonymous and confidential support.

    Emergency Assistance

    Call Emergency Services on 000 if you:

    • require urgent medical attention or 
    • are in immediate danger or 
    • are at risk of harming yourself or someone else.

    Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm (including public holidays)

    Web Chat

    More about ADIS Web Chat
  • Your Service Hub is an online directory of alcohol and other drugs support, health and welfare services. If you need support for your own or someone else's substance use, you should use terms in Find Services like:

    • drug and alcohol family support

    • drug and alcohol Aboriginal services 

    • drug counselling

    • drug and alcohol rehabilitation

    • drug and alcohol residential treatment

    along with your suburb name to narrow the search to services near you.

    Not sure what service you need? Call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015.

    More about Your Service Hub