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Mar 13

The Drug

GBL (Gammabutyrolactone) is a liquid club/dance drug. It is a Class C drug. A small dose can have a powerful sedating effect, mixing it with any alcohol is extremely dangerous which can lead to unconsciousness and coma. They are solvents. GBL gives a strong sense of contentment, however there is a very fine line between getting the desired amount and taking too much which can include physical collapse. Regular use over time will lead to addiction.

These drugs have concentrated pockets of high use in some groups in urban areas such as gay men and students. The cost is typically about £15 for a 30ml bottle of pure GBL.

Also known as: G, geeb


The effects take about 15-45 minutes and the user feels euphoria and less inhibited. They last for 3-6 hours. Like alcohol and opiates, these drugs suppress breathing. Higher doses can make the person vomit, become aggressive and delirious. Eventually they become very sleepy or reach a state of collapse. Overdosing leads to unconsciousness and in a few cases, death. GBL gives a warm sense of contentment and at the correct dose cause obvious intoxication and physically incapability. GBL reduces inhibitions so are used as sex drugs, by enhancing sexual stimulation. Prolonged use increases tolerance and repeat dosing and addiction can develop. Withdrawal can be difficult; craving and relapse is common.


The risk of taking too much GBL by getting the dose wrong is high. There are no studies available which show what longer term harms are caused by consuming this solvent. GBL encourages sleep so a high dose can lead to a comatose state. There is also the risk of accidental overdose. GBL is likely to cause addiction after a period of sustained use.

Taking it every day, will meant a high risk of becoming dependent on it. Addiction can become acute and is hard to overcome. Those dependent on GBL suffer from depression and can be aggressive, irritable and restless as well as experiencing insomnia and memory problems. It is often taken in with other drugs such as alcohol, ketamine, cocaine and cannabis. A moderate to high dose (2-3ml) mixed with alcohol can, in the inexperienced and unsuspecting user, lead to unconsciousness; it can even be fatal. GBL has been used in sexual assaults as a rape drug. GBL is a drug which encourages sexual behaviour so there is increased risk of pregnancy, STDs and sexual injury.

Be Safe

The main risk from GBL is taking too high a dose. Even people used to it often make mistakes. The other risk is mixing with alcohol which should always be avoided. Anyone taking it daily has developed a dependency which can overwhelm all parts of your life. People getting a craving should consider getting professional help for treatment. Make sure you look after each other.

The Law

GBL is a Class C drug so it is illegal to possess or supply. Being caught in possession may result in arrest. Those caught in possession may be offered a caution – this means accepting the offence and getting a criminal record. There is also a smaller chance of being charged with the offence and having to appear in court where the outcome is most likely a fine or possibly some community service. There have been reports of GBL being used as a rape drug. Putting GBL in someone’s drink intending to take advantage of them sexually is a very serious offence and on conviction can attract a substantial period of imprisonment (5-10 years).