Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a GABA metabolite used clinically for sleep induction. The abuse liability of GHB is controversial. As part of a study of the effect of GHB pretreatment on naloxone-precipitated opiate withdrawal, eight opioid-stabilized subjects received a balanced, randomized, double-blind sequence of oral placebo, GHB 15 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg. GHB had no consistent physiological effects. After GHB and prior to naloxone, subjects rated "sluggish," "spaced," "carefree," and "good-mood" higher after GHB 30 mg/kg than after placebo. Subjects identified the 30 mg/kg dose as most similar to placebo (n = 3), benzodiazepine (n = 2), opiate (n = 2), and alcohol (n = 1).