Drug and alcohol information for PDHPE students

This guide takes you to key eresources, books and information about drugs and alcohol for PDHPE students.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available



GHB stands for gamma-hydroxybutyrate, which is a depressant. Although it is sometimes called liquid ecstasy it is not chemically related to ecstasy, which is a stimulant. GHB is a naturally occurring substance found in the body.

It was first synthesised in the 1960s and developed as an anaesthetic, and has been used as a treatment for a number of medical conditions, including insomnia, depression, narcolepsy and alcoholism.

It has also been used by bodybuilders and athletes in the belief that it raises growth hormone levels; however, there is no evidence that this is the case. More recently, it has been associated with the nightclub and rave scenes.

GHB usually comes as a liquid, and is sold in vials, bottles or fish-shaped soy sauce containers. It is colourless, but may have colour added to stop it being mistaken for water or other clear liquids. It is odourless, and can have either a bitter or a salty taste.

Less often, GHB is found in the form of a white powder.

Read more about GHB here.


Drug facts

Use the following websites to find information about specific drugs, including their long and short term effects, how they are used, legal status and information on mixing drugs.

Journal articles

Journal articles are a good source of explanations and discussions of drug and alcohol issues.  There are several eresources with links to journal articles available in the State Library.

A quick guide to drugs and alcohol

Further information from Drug Info

Visit the Drug Info website for free drug and alcohol information for the community of NSW. Drug Info is a partnership between NSW Ministry of Health and the State Library of NSW.