UK criminalise GHB substitutes

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British authorities announced this week that GHB substitutes GLB and 1.4 butanediol are to be outlawed and categorised as Class C drugs, in response to increasing numbers of clubbers being treated in London hospitals for overdoses. Gay clubbing portal DiscoDamaged.net reported that 158 people were treated in one central London hospital alone in recent months, marking a growing escalation of the notoriously dangerous sex drugs’ popularity.

Both substances replicate almost exactly the effects of GHB, which was itself banned a number of years ago after a series of deaths and medical emergencies amongst clubbers, particularly around London’s gay quarter of Vauxhall. Speaking two years ago after 15 people had collapsed and two died in the area in two months, Superintendent Alistair Sutherland from Kennington Police compared using G to playing ‘Russian roulette’. “People are not aware of the potentially fatal reaction it can have on their bodies,” he warned. “Especially when mixed with other recreational drugs and alcohol.”

Hard dance producer BK also slated the drug in an interview with Skrufff at the same period declaring ‘it’s your worst nightmare DJing when people are on GHB in a club’. “Out of all the drugs that have been around for the last 15 years GHB seems to be the one that’s causing the most problems, it’s not a positive thing for the club scene at all,” BK added. “In London you find it more on the gay scene as opposed to the hard dance scene, though up North the crowds seem generally younger, which maybe makes them more – I don’t know the word – hedonistic, or stupid? Or reckless and less experienced.”

Respected drugs portal Erowid.org hinted at the reasons for GHB and GLB’s popularity, pointing out the drug is one of the few substances to be recognised by scientists as a genuine aphrodisiac. “Perhaps the foremost prosexual property of GHB is disinhibition,” the Erowid site reports. “Some users suggest that GHB’s other sexual benefits are secondary effects, made possible (or at least amplified) by this loosening of psychosomatic constraint. A number of people have commented that this disinhibition is particularly marked among women,” Erowid added.

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