GHB is a drug that can make you feel relaxed. But slightly too much will knock you out, which is why it is also used as a dangerous date-rape drug.

The difference needed to get you high versus overdosing is very small

What is it?

GHB is a man-made anaesthetic drug. It has been popular on the club scene since the mid 90s. Although it is called liquid E, it is not like ecstasy at all. The effects are quite different.

It often comes as a clear liquid that tastes slightly salty. People take it by the capful. Sometimes it comes as a powder that is dissolved in water.

How does it make you feel?

GHB is a bit like alcohol, only more potent. A small capful can make you confident, happy and relaxed.

Too much will make you feel dizzy, sick, confused and wobbly. You may experience vomiting, convulsions and muscle stiffness. Way too much will put you totally out, or in extreme cases respiratory collapse.

If you buy it in a bottle, it's hard to know how strong it is. It can take 10 minutes to an hour for the effects to come on, and the difference in dose needed to get you high versus overdosing is very small.

The day after you'll probably feel quite groggy.

What are the health effects?

GHB has been used in 'date rapes'. You can't taste GHB in drinks and a strong dose can put you right out - leaving you open to sexual assault.

With that in mind, be very careful of who you take drinks from. Don't go back to a drink if you've left it on its own, and stick with your mates through a night out.

Mixing GHB with alcohol or other drugs is extremely dangerous, and the long-term health effects of the drug aren't really understood.

The law

GHB and GBL (a very similar drug) are both illegal Class C drugs. Either carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison for possession and 14 years for supply.

As a date-rape drug, administering a substance with intent to overpower a person in order to engage them in sexual activity carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

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