LSD28. September 2016
Ketamine28. September 2016
What is it?
GHB and GBL are substances that act similarly in the body. They are also simply called “G” or gina, liquid ecstasy, and knockout drops. They are usually colorless, odorless liquids.
GHB is an endogenous messenger substance that is also used in medicine, among other things. GHB has a salty-bitter taste. (Don’t try it neat, it is caustic.)
GBL is a corrosive liquid used as a solvent and cleaning agent. GBL is rapidly converted to GHB in the body. GBL has a chemical taste. It acts faster, more intensively and for a shorter time than GHB. In the Berlin scene, this form is most common.
Risk: Using G in a controlled manner requires special attention and discipline compared to other substances There is little room for error as a few drops is the difference between the desired amount and an overdose that can cause a comatose state, for example. Some choose not to consume G because adherence to strict discipline, even in the course of partying, is contrary to their sense of celebration.
G is viewed controversially in the scene and the use of it is stigmatized. When paramedics have to be called in clubs or at chemsex parties, a G overdose and/or mixed consumption is often involved. In addition, G has already been abused as a rape drug (knockout drops). Most clubs will ban you if they find G on you.
How is it taken?
G is corrosive and must be taken in a highly diluted form. The substance is usually kept in a small bottle and dosed to the milliliter using a pipette or syringe (without a needle).
The dose is diluted with a non-alcoholic liquid in a container at a ratio of approximately 1:100 and the mixture is then swallowed in one go. Alternatively, the dose can be added to a whole non-alcoholic drink, which is then drunk normally over a short period of time (resulting in a more gradual onset of effect).
Risk:In clubs, G is also dosed directly from the pipette or syringe (without a needle) into the mouth, after first taking a large mouthful of a liquid (without swallowing it yet). However, in this way the substance is only slightly diluted and there may be a risk of burns to lips, tooth enamel, throat, etc.
A typical initial dose is about 0.8-1.2 ml of GBL or 1-2 ml of GHB.
Lower doses are used, for example, in cases of low body weight, on an empty stomach, or physical exhaustion. Higher doses are used by people who have already developed a tolerance to G.
A reliable dosage is often not possible with illegally produced G G since it is not known which concentration the substance has. Some users therefore initially test a maximum of half a dose with new sources and then wait for a period of effect.
If G is taken several times in a row, the time of each dose is documented, because a minimum interval must be strictly observed. If the interval is shorter than the total duration of action of the substance (2-3 hours), less than the initial dose must be added to prevent overdose. (Attention: Very high doses have a longer duration of action).
Never slam/intravenously consume GHB/GBL! Risk of overdose/poisoning and cauterization of veins.
How does it feel?
Generally, the effect of a substance varies greatly from person to person, depending on external circumstances, form of consumption, exact composition of the drug, dose, and other factors.
The effect of a typical dose of GBL is noticeable after about 3-10 minutes, peaks about 20-30 minutes after ingestion, and then decreases over another 1.5-3 hours.
The effect of a typical dose of GHB is noticeable after about 10-20 minutes, peaks about 30-60 minutes after intake, and then declines for another 2-4 hours.
G has a mood-lifting, anxiety-relieving effect, makes users sociable and talkative, and intensifies sensory perceptions. Initially it has a stimulating effect, but as use progresses and the dose increases, it has a sedative effect.
G has a sexually arousing and disinhibiting effect. Other people are perceived as more attractive. For these reasons, G is one of the most common drugs used for chemsex.
Some users compare the high of G to that of alcohol, but with a shorter duration, mentally clearer somewhat, as well as more sexually stimulating. Contrary to the nickname “liquid ecstasy,” the high is not as propelling and euphoric as ecstasy/MDMA.
Some users report feeling little to no hangover after the high.
Side effects and long-term impact
- Use of G can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness and can trigger seizures. . A high dose may cause headaches, impaired balance, hallucinations, confusion, fatigue, or sudden falling asleep and inability to move.
- G consumption may cause electrolyte, blood sugar, and acid-base imbalances and may lower and increase blood pressure.
- G can paralyze the central nervous system, including the part responsible for our breathing. Too high a dose can cause life-threatening respiratory paralysis!
- Higher doses of G can also impair our ability to remember what happened during use, leading to complete blackouts.
- Frequent high-dose use can contribute to the development of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
- G (especially GBL) is corrosive and can damage the eye and stomach lining.
- Sustained use over several days or weeks leads to physical dependence.
- Consumed over a long time, G can leave damage to the liver and kidneys and cause memory impairment.
Unintentional overdoses can easily happen with G because the difference between a desired dose and an overdose is so small.
Overdoses can occur from 1.5 ml of GBL or 2 ml of GHB. Amounts greater than 2 ml of GBL or 3 ml of GHB may be lethal.
Risk: The dose consumed is often not precisely determinable with illegally produced G, since it is often not known how much active ingredient and, if applicable, which other substances are contained in the liquid (e.g., GHB produced from GBL sometimes contains portions of GBL that have not yet been converted and, conversely, GBL also contains traces of GHB).
A G overdose can induce sleep, but beyond that it can also induce a comatose state from which a person cannot be awakened for approximately 1-4 hours. There is no “antidote.” Vomiting while unconscious can cause asphyxiation.
A G overdose can further cause seizures, muscle twitching, and loss of control over bowel movements and urine. A high overdose can cause life-threatening respiratory failure.
Initial signs of overdose may include nausea, retching, lightheadedness, gasping, difficulty articulating, involuntary movements or utterances, and sudden falling asleep or startling. However, consumers may be fine until just before the onset of sleep or coma.
Typical mistakes that can lead to overdose are:
- Choosing a dose intuitively, without measuring accurately.
- Re-dosing intuitively, instead of strictly adhering to a minimum time interval.
- Consuming G at the same time as alcohol, both substances amplify each other in unpredictable ways.
- Confusing GBL and GHB.
- Wanting more effect even though the substance does not offer more.
- Re-dosing the same amount while the previous dose is still having an effect (e.g., after only one hour).
- doppeltes Dosieren in dasselbe Getränk (etwa wenn man abgelenkt wird oder die Gefäße verwechselt)Dosing twice in the same drink (such as when distracted or mixing up the glasses or bottles).
- (Additional) drinking of a beverage that unknowingly contains G.
- Forgetting that you have just, or recently dosed already.
- Re-dosing the same amount for hours while becoming more exhausted over time and the sleep-inducing effects of G increases.
- A person with no G experience taking on similar dosing levels from someone who has already developed a tolerance.
- Mixed use and its timing, e.g., when the waking effect of a stimulant substance (e.g. speed) decreases and the sleep-inducing effect of G suddenly comes through unimpeded.
If a person becomes sleepy on G, it may be difficult to keep them awake. Exercise, talking with them, fresh air, a cool shower, or mild pain stimuli can help. It is not advisable to try to keep someone awake with additional substances, as this will only make the exceptional situation in the body worse. Under no circumstances should a drug be administered to an unresponsive person.
It is impossible to tell with the naked eye whether someone is merely asleep, temporarily unconscious, or it is a life-threatening emergency.
If a person cannot be woken up, do not be afraid to call the emergency services (112). This is how you can save someone’s life! You don’t have to talk about drugs on the phone, mention that a person is unconscious, and then inform the emergency services about the use of GHB/GBL when they arrive.
In clubs, the door staff is generally responsible for emergencies. Since this is also the controlling authority that enforces G bans, among other things, people are sometimes reluctant to approach them in a G emergency. However, emergencies must not be concealed, or any response delayed!
Always turn unconscious persons into a recovery position on their side to prevent them from choking on vomit. Stay with the person and watch for breathing. A rattle, which may sound like snoring, can be an indication of breathing difficulties.
A person who stops breathing must be kept alive with CPR until emergency services arrive!
People who fall asleep on G are often unaware of this fact, or afterwards often have no sense of the duration and intensity of their sleep. When they wake up again, they are still high and may not show any awareness of the problem.
Recommendation: In such cases, if you help people understand and acknowledge that it was an overdose, they are more likely to learn from it.
Recommendation: If someone was already nodding off on G, i.e., overdosed on the substance, then the party, or at the very least G consumption, should be over for this person!
- In general, the following applies: When using several substances at the same time, the body and the mind are subjected to greater stress. Individual effects can be intensified, weakened or delayed. The probability of an overdose or side effects is not calculable.
- Mixed use can make you suddenly fall asleep and increase side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, retching, and unconsciousness or even respiratory failure.
- Mixing with alcohol, poppers, ketamine, opiates, or benzos increases the paralytic effects of G. Life-threatening respiratory paralysis may result! Avoid mixed use with G!
- G + Viagra causes a severe drop in blood pressure. Life-threatening cardiovascular failure may occur. In combination with speed, ecstasy, mephedrone, crystal meth or cocaine, the effect of G can be suppressed. Here, the likelihood of an overdose from taking too much or too fast is increased. Timing is highly complex: for example, when the awakening effect of an upper wears off, the sedative effect of G can kick in full force and a dose that was previously OK can suddenly become problematic.
- Concurrent use of allergy medications may cause circulatory problems and induce a coma.
- Drugs used to treat epilepsy such as valproate, phenytoin, topiramate plus GHB/GBL can cause life-threatening interactions, in part because they inhibit GHB breakdown.
- Do not consume GBL with dairy products; this causes nausea and vomiting.
Addiction potential and withdrawal
- Regular consumption leads to a rapid tolerance development (i.e., you need more of the substance to have the same effect).
- There is a possibility of psychological dependence.
- Sustained use over several days or weeks leads to physical dependence People then need to consume G consistently every few hours to stave off withdrawal symptoms. These can include sweating, insomnia, muscle cramps, tremors, and nausea and can last for several weeks.
- Self-organized “cold turkey” withdrawal without medical consultation and supervision can be life-threatening. Find out which hospitals in your area offer in-patient withdrawal treatment.
- Never take G undiluted because of its corrosive effects. Dilute at least 1:100 with a non-alcoholic liquid.
- Always dose G to the nearest milliliter using a scaled pipette or syringe without a needle. Glass pipette bottles with scales can be found at online retailers. Syringes without needles are available at any pharmacy. The syringe should have a volume of max. 3ml, so that you can measure precisely. G can detach the markings of syringes over time, therefore replace them in time.
- If you make a mistake when dosing G, e.g., you do not remember whether or how much you have already poured into a drink, do not take any risks. Pour it away and start again.
- Do not dose G directly into your mouth (even with liquid held there) to avoid burns. At the club, for example, you can use an empty glass or bottle as a mixing vessel.
- Pure G may only be put into vessels from which no one would drink by mistake, e.g., a pipette, pharmacy or chemical bottles. Never leave pure G around in a drinking vessel, especially at a party. A mix-up could cost lives!
- Do not store GBL in normal plastic bottles, as it will corrode them over time. Use glass, metal, or HDPE plastic containers (e.g., chemical bottles, identified by the ♴ symbol and the HDPE or PE-HD designation).
- Never slam/intravenously consume GHB/GBL! Risk of poisoning and cauterization of veins.
- Make sure you know if it is GBL or GHB. Adjust your dosage and minimum distance accordingly.
- You can protect yourself from overdose by taking only small amounts.
- If you take a subsequent dose, it must be much smaller than the initial dose, unless there are several hours between doses. Even after the high has worn off, G is still active in your system.
Example: Half a dose of G can feel very subtle. That means on the other hand that even if you only notice it a little, you can still have half a dose in your system. To take another half dose would bring you back to the effect of the initial dose. Taking a full dose would significantly exceed the effect of the initial dose.
- Note the time of your last dose. On your cell phone, this can be done in one go by taking a screenshot of your display including the clock. You can also start a stopwatch or post your dose in a group chat with your friends. For each subsequent dose, check the time of your last dose and adjust the amount accordingly.
- Rule of thumb for GBL: If you wait only one hour, the next dose must not be more than 60% of the initial dose to avoid exceeding its effect. If you wait 90 minutes, the follow-up dose must not exceed 80% of the initial dose. If you wait 2 hours, the follow-up dose must not exceed 90% of the initial dose.
- Refrain from re-dosing if unpleasant effects occur.
- Never combine G with alcohol, as these substances potentiate in unpredictable ways, making overdose much more likely.
- Do not combine G with substances that have a sedative or anesthetic effect (ketamine, benzos, opiates, sleeping pills). This is dangerous because it can cause respiratory paralysis.
- Do not consume G alone. Unexpected side effects can always occur. Inform your friends that you have consumed G.
- Always measure out your dose yourself. Do not delegate your responsibility to others. That way, you’re guaranteed to stay on top of things.
- It is never okay to administer substances to other people without their knowledge and consent! You’re putting their life at risk and are doing something illegal. If you’re witnessing such a situation, get help from other people and protect the person who’s being spiked.
- It is never okay to administer substances to other people without their knowledge and consent!
You’re putting their life at risk and are doing something illegal. Wenn du so eine Situation beobachtest, hole dir Hilfe und schütze die betroffene Person.
- Watch out for each other, be alert, and get help if necessary if a person is not doing well.
- Do not leave a drink mixed with G unattended. Others may drink from it and unknowingly and unintentionally expose themselves to the effects.
- Never leave drinks unattended; do not drink anything that has been out of your sight for a long time.
G has been abused as a “date rape” drug. G is not very noticeable taste-wise in a drink and can lead to defenselessness and missing memories. G is detectable in urine for a maximum of 12 hours. In suspected cases, police should be contacted as soon as possible.
- People with asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, and stressed cardiovascular and psychological conditions should avoid consuming G.
- Avoid performing responsible tasks while under the influence of substances.. Don’t use your car and determine for yourself which areas of life should remain free from consumption.
- If necessary, clarify what kind of sex you and your sex partners want before you start using. G has a sexually disinhibiting effect and can cause you to do different things and choose different partners than you would if you were sober. Your risk-taking during sex may increase and you may forget about your condom or PrEP.
- G and poppers: Both lower blood pressure and have a respiratory depressant effect. Risk of unconsciousness and shortness of breath or even respiratory failure.
- G and Viagra: Causes a sharp drop in blood pressure, risk of circulatory collapse.
- G can make coming more difficult. Prolonged fucking puts strain on the condom. Change the condom after half an hour or choose another protection strategy. Have enough safe sex material on hand.
- Only consume enough so that you can still clearly express your consent (or non-consent), your desires and your limits, and that you can still correctly perceive those of your partners.
- Only have sex with people who can clearly express their will! If a person is so high that they are no longer capable of conversation, they are also incapable of giving consent. Under no circumstances may sexual acts be (further) performed on them. This is true even if mutual intentions were previously discussed while conscious. It is a criminal offense.
- G has a relaxing effect. Caution with sex practices with risk of injury (fucking, fisting, dildos, plugs). Here, in addition to HIV, there is also a likelihood of infection with hepatitis C.
- Pay attention to your body! If you notice any abnormalities on your dick, front hole or ass, you should see a doctor.
- Get tested for sexually transmitted infections at least once a year and check your hepatitis A/B vaccination status.
If you suspect that sexual acts have been performed on you against your will or on you while you are unconscious, you should have blood and/or urine drawn and tested as soon as possible. The outpatient Clinic for the Protection against Violence of Berlin’s Charité Hospital offers a court-proof assessment and documentation without the pressure to immediately file a police report. . The documentation is kept for 4 weeks, and you can decide in time whether you want to file a complaint.
In case of injuries in intimate areas, you should visit a hospital or a doctor to have the injuries documented and treated.
In addition, you can get support at the counseling center of your choice:
- MANEO, Berlin’s gay anti-violence project
- MUT Berlin, offers for men* who have experienced sexualized violence.
- LARA Berlin, offers for women* who have experienced sexualized violence.
Interactions with HIV treatment
- Take substances and HIV medications at different times. This might decrease the chance of side-effects.. Always take low doses of substances when taking medications at the same time.
- Often a night can last a long time, take enough medication with you and keep to the time you take it.
- Talk to your doctor about the interaction of your HIV medications with intoxicants.
- Protease inhibitors can cause fatal GHB/GBL concentrations in the body even at low GHB/GBL doses. Caution: There is a major risk of respiratory depression, coma, and epileptic seizures!
- Find here advice on substance and HIV drug interactions.
- Would you like to talk about your use, have questions, or are looking for support about substance use?
- Do you want to share and/or reflect on your substance experiences with someone?
- Feeling that you are using too much?
- Are you worried about friends or acquaintances and want advice or tips on how to cope as a friend*?
- Feeling that you are using too much?
The drug advice services in your area will be happy to help you! In Berlin, you can contact the following organizations with these or other questions without any commitment:
Sources: This text has been translated from German. Some sources may only be available in German.
- K.o.cktail – Unsichtbare Drogen im Gals
- Liquid Ecstasy | Gesundheitsportal
- Drogen aus dem Medizinschrank: GHB / GBL | GANGWAY e.V. | GANGWAY e.V.
- SONAR BERLIN — Substanzen – G (safer-nightlife.berlin)
- GHB / GBL/ BDO – sauber drauf! mindzone.info
- GHB / Liquid Ecstasy | HIV & Drogen (hiv-drogen.de)
- GBL | drugscouts.de
- GHB / GBL – checkit!
- eve&rave Münster e.V. – GHB, GBL & BDO (eve-rave.org)
- GBL – drugcom
- GHB – drugcom
- GHB/GBL | Chemsex Netzwerk
- Substanz-Infos zu GHB/GBL – LOVE LAZERS
- Drogerie Projekt – GHB, GBL und BDO (drogerie-projekt.de)