Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, also known as GHB and sodium oxybate is a substance naturally found in the central nervous system, but also in small citrus fruits, beef and wine. One can also find it in almost all animals’ nervous system, but in small amounts. Even so, it is considered an illegal drug in many countries and is usage is regulated in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and most of Europe. In its form of sodium salt it is used to treat cataplexy narcolepsy and is sold by Jazz pharmaceuticals under the name of Xyrem. It is used as a general anesthetic in medicine in order to treat insomnia, clinical depression, narcolepsy and alcoholism and as an athletic performance enhancer.
These, however, are not the uses one should fear! It is also used as a date rape drug. It has many street names, such as Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy, Mils, G, Fantasy, Georgia Home Boy, but also under the reordered initials GBH. It is used as a recreational drug by club goers because it enhances the party experience. In small amounts, it acts as an aphrodisiac and as a stimulant. It has a tendency to produce euphoria and sociability. Although it has a very salty taste, it is colorless and odorless which makes it very easy to add to drinks that mask its potent flavor. GHB has been used in cases of sexual assault, especially after the victim is already vulnerable due to intoxication with a sedative — alcohol being the most commonly used. It comes in two forms: a colorless, odorless liquid or a white powder.
Detection, Manufacturing And Distribution
It is very hard to detect GHB in urine samples after a single day, which makes it hard to prove someone was actually the victim of drink spiking. Over the counter date rape drug urine tests do not cover GHB, which makes them useless. In order to detect it in urine, one must undergo testing it in 8 to 12 hours after ingestion and for this, one must go to a hospital, since there are no home tests available. Other drugs, such as muscle relaxers (for instance, Carisoprodol) are sometimes used in combination with GHB. It can also be detected in blood and plasma tests.
This drug can also be detected in hair, even months after ingestion. This is great because, although hair tests are not as common as urine tests and they cannot be performed at home, the victim has a greater chance of having evidence against the perpetrator.
The drug is easy to manufacture, and therefore the makers handle distribution themselves. What is worse is that this drug is relatively cheap and sold by the capful. The price varies between 5 and 25$ per cap.
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