AKA: GBH or liquid ecstasy

  • GHB is a very strong anaesthetic that is Photograph of GHBusually sold as a liquid, or occasionally a powder.
  • The strength varies so it’s hard for people to know how much to take, but most of the time people take a teaspoonful.
  • The effects start between ten minutes to one hour and can last up to seven hours.

Why do people take it?
What class is it?
How does it affect the heart?
What are the other effects on the body?


What are illegal drugs?

Illegal drugs can damage the brain, heart, and other important organs. Different drugs affect you in different ways and include different risks. Here you can find out more about them.

Class A, B or C?

The British government separate the different kinds of illegal drugs into three different categories. These classes (A, B and C) carry different levels of penalty for possession and dealing. Drugs classified ‘A’ have the strongest penalties, drugs classified ‘C’ have the lowest.

(These classes have nothing to do with how strong or dangerous a drug is – some class ‘C’ drugs can kill you.)

To find out more about the fines and prison sentences you can get for carrying drugs, go to talktofrank.



Why do people take it?

It makes you feel like your mind and body are separated. It can make you hallucinate – that when you see or hear things that aren’t there or things appear distorted. It can also make you feel sexy and happy.

What class is it?


How does it affect the heart?

  • GHB slows your heart rate and slows your breathing.
  • Your blood pressure drops and you can die of respiratory arrest.

What are the other effects on the body?

  • You can feel a bit all over the place and sick. Your muscles go numb and start to twitch.
  • If you take too much you can lose consciousness.
  • Using GHB can give you mental health problems like anxiety and paranoia – paranoia is where you get panicky and think that people are out to get you.


Useful links

Talk to Frank:

0800 776600
24 hours a day, every day.

Textphone for people with hearing difficulties

0800 9178765


0845 4500 215

help and legal advice line
(open 11am-1pm for drug or legal advice. 2-4pm drugs advice only)



Talk to Frank
(drugs information service)

0800 776600

(drugs information service)

0845 4500 215

'Cocaine and the Heart'
New England Journal of Medicine 2003
Vol 348:487-488
Kloner.R, Rezkalla.S

Cocaine Abuse: Repolarisation Abnormalities and Ventricular Arrhythmias. The American Journal of Medical Science 2000
Vol 320 (1)
Gamouras.G et al