‘Ewww GHB…. I’d never, ever, ever use that shit….’

Ahhh yes, GHB. Or for the scientists among us, Gamma hydroxybutyrate. The drug that, perhaps more than any other, divides opinion among us who use drugs ‘recreationally’. For some, it is an old friend who they couldn’t possibly party without. For others, it is the enemy - a villain of many stories; the friend of the friend that ended up in intensive care, or the girl who had to be carried out of the festival.

It’s true, GHB shouldn’t be trivialised. Unlike alcohol or even cocaine, it is notoriously very difficult to dose. This is because it’s easy to make – any cowboy with the right ingredients can brew it in their kitchen, which means that the strength can differ between 300mg and 700mg per millilitre. Basically, this means that if untested, a 5ml dose can be an awesome night out or a visit to the hospital.

So if it’s so difficult, why do people use it? Those who have a bottle sitting in their fridge will tell you it feels ‘fucking amazing’. It’s relaxes the body and lowers inhibitions completely, resulting in a warm, confident feeling of euphoria. 

But this feeling and the pursuit of it often makes people forget the simple things they can do to protect themselves, their friends and their fellow party goers.

The simple things, for example, were covered in our training to regular guests of arguably Amsterdam’s biggest nightclub. Standing under the lights, feeling the enthusiasm emanate from an audience who clearly knew a thing or two about GHB, I asked if they knew why it’s important space to their doses by at least two hours. The answer is simple. Alcohol, for example, has a linear dose and response relationship. This means that after two beers, you can be pretty confident that you won’t be spinning out, throwing up and being put in the back of an uber by a mate. In contrast, the response of GHB is totally non-linear. 

That means that you might not feel a thing after the first dose. After the second though, your head could be all over the show and you might need to sit down before you fall. This, known as the stacking effect, is what many partiers fall victim to.

Like many things, such as money, power and dare I say it, drugs in general – it’s clear that GHB isn’t inherently the horned demon from hell. 

A more accurate metaphor might be a dog that’s prone to biting or collecting honey from a swarm of bees – you’ll probably be safe as long as you know how and why to protect yourself and what to do if things start going wrong.

Interested in Mainline’s training about GHB or want more info? Drop us an email at

- Text: Simon Williams

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