Street name: GHB, GBH, Liquid Ecstasy

Street use: Taken orally, some reports of injection (rare)

Description: Colourless liquid (purchased in small bottles). Coloured capsules.

Drug effect: Euphoric sedative effect. Effects noticeable within 10 minutes to 1 hour and can last for up to 24 hours.

Dependency: Physical and psychological dependency

Therapeutic use: Anaesthetic use with a sedative quality. GHB has been used as a premedication to surgery and more recently it has been used in treatment for sleep disorders.

Withdrawal: Withdrawal produces an agitated state as with other types of sedative drugs, though little has been recorded on the true nature of the withdrawal.

Long-term use: There is also little evidence concerning the long-term use and therefore the consequences of such use are unknown.

Overdose risk: Similar to barbiturates, there is a fine line between the amount that is required to achieve the desired effect and that which will lead to coma. There is also a high risk of overdose should GHB be mixed with similar substances such as alcohol or other central nervous system depressants.

Legal status: Since July 2003 GHB has become a Class 'C' drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Possession of the drug could lead to a 2 year prison sentence.

SPECIAL NOTE: GHB is not only used by people on the dance scene but also by bodybuilders, though as yet with unknown effects.