Street terms: GBL, ‘coma in a bottle’, geeb

GBL (gammabutyrolactone) is closely related to GHB (Gammahydroxybutrate).                 GBL coverts to GHB shortly after entering the body and has similar sedative and anaesthetic effects and mellow ‘buzz’.

A pipette is used to measure ‘shots’ of GBL. A ‘shot’ is a term normally associated with alcohol. It is then mixed with water or orange juice, then drunk  –  just as you might drink vodka. GBL is virtually tasteless and odourless when diluted, but produces a high not dissimilar to ecstasy.

GBL, unlike GHB, is not a Class C drug.  It is a legal product used in industry for cleaning alloy wheels, pain stripping or rust remover and is available from other sources such as the internet.  However, The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) which advises the government, has provisionally recommended that GBL should also be controlled as a Class C drug with consultation on a licensing arrangement for its use in industry.

Negative effects

GBL is addictive, and can be fatal or cause coma and is particularly dangerous when used with alcohol and other depressant or sedative substances including recreational drugs. GBL has also been linked to date rape.