GHB use among gay and bisexual men

Perry N. Halkitis, Joseph J. Palamar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recreational use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has been relatively understudied, despite its popularity in gay communities. We examined the use of GHB in a sample of 450 club drug using gay and bisexual men. Of these, 29% indicated use of the substance in the recent past. GHB users were similar to those in the sample who reported no use along key demographic factors, although GHB users were more likely to identify as gay than bisexual and were slightly older. Poly-drug use was common, with close to half of GHB users combining with methamphetamine, MDMA, or ketamine; approximately one quarter also used GHB with alcohol. Participants reported that GHB was often used at nightclubs, circuit parties, sex parties, and sex clubs, with HIV-positive men more likely to use the substance in sexual contexts. Use of GHB is common among a certain subset of gay men despite warnings within the community about the potentially fatal effects of the substance, suggesting that more effort be given to educate drug using gay men about GHB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2135-2139
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Addiction
  • Club drugs
  • GHB
  • Gay and bisexual
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'GHB use among gay and bisexual men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this