Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. 

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Am Fam Physician. 2000;62(11):2483

See related article on gamma-hydroxybutyrate.

What is GHB?

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is an illegal drug that is used as a muscle builder, a “party drug” and a “date-rape” drug. GHB comes in a liquid and a powder form. GHB has been linked to many serious illnesses and even deaths.

What are the dangers of GHB use?

GHB causes many problems including:

  • Drowsiness

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Changes in blood pressure

  • Trouble breathing

  • Aggressive behavior

  • Impaired judgment

  • Hallucinations

  • Seizures

  • Coma

  • Death

These effects usually appear 10 to 20 minutes after taking the drug.

Should I be worried about GHB?

Yes. Because GHB has no color or smell, it can easily be slipped into drinks and food. A very small amount of GHB may cause you to “black-out” (unconsciousness). GHB is often used as a “date-rape” drug. Don't take drinks from people you don't know or drink from containers you didn't open yourself.

What should I tell my children about GHB?

GHB is used most often by teenagers and young adults. Talk with your children about the dangers of GHB. Warn them not to accept drinks from strangers. Tell them to keep their drinks with them all the time, even if they go into the bathroom. If you have questions, ask your doctor.

Common street names of GHB

  • Blue nitro

  • Cherry fX bombs

  • Cherry meth

  • Easy lay

  • Everclear

  • Firewater

  • Gamma G

  • Georgia homeboy

  • GHB

  • G.H. revitalizer

  • Gib

  • Goops

  • Great hormones at bedtime

  • Grievous bodily harm

  • G-riffick

  • Growth hormone booster

  • Insom-X

  • Invigorate

  • Lemon fX drops

  • Liquid ecstasy

  • Liquid E

  • Liquid X

  • Longevity

  • Natural sleep-500

  • Nature's quaalude

  • Orange fX rush

  • Organic quaalude

  • Oxy-sleep

  • Poor man's heroin

  • Remforce

  • Revivarant

  • Salty water

  • Scoop

  • Soap Somatomax PM

  • Somsanit

  • Vita-G

  • Water

  • Wolfies

  • Zonked

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