Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, has become recognised as a very potent and alarmingly addictive drug. Used originally for medicinal purposes, treating insomnia, depression and narcolepsy, as well as being a general anaesthetic, the full range of uses for GHB were never fully studied for years following its first reported synthesis in 1894.
GHB became synonymous with the body-building community when it was exposed as a steroid. It can promote protein synthesis in the body while restricting natural protein loss (extra protein equals extra muscle). It is now more commonly associated with date rape.
GHB is a depressant of the Central Nervous System, causing muscle relaxation (hypnotonia) and drowsiness, as well as euphoric sensations and disinhibition. It is used as a date rape drug because it is odorless and colourless, the characteristic drowsiness can be disguised by alcoholic stupor. Any drink spiked with GHB may have a salty taste.
GHB is very dangerous even though it is produced naturally in the human body, wine, beef and citrus fruits. Regardless of warnings, it is becoming more available illegally in nightclubs and is hard to detect unless tested for very soon after ingestion.