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  1. chillinwill
    The first known death from a drug popular with clubbers has emerged the day the government banned it.

    Toxicologists in London found that a 25-year-old man died hours after taking GBL on its own while out clubbing.

    Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, they said the man was found unconscious by his partner who had tried to resuscitate him.

    The drug is among a list of so-called "legal highs" banned on Wednesday amid growing evidence of their harm.

    The report in the journal details how the man had been previously fit and healthy - but had returned home from a night out in 2008 "acting strangely".

    When the ambulance arrived, the crew continued attempts to resuscitate the man. There were further attempts to revive him when he reached hospital, but he died from a prolonged cardiac arrest.

    Writing before the ban came into force, the team said that the man's post-mortem revealed the presence of GBL in his body - but no sign of alcohol or any other drug.

    Once in the body, chemical reactions turn GBL into another drug, GHB, which has been banned since 2003.

    The post-mortem found that the quantity of GBL in the man's body was consistent with the amount seen in previous fatal overdoses involving GHB.

    Student death

    Dr Paul Dargan, of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, wrote: "There are numerous reported fatalities related to GHB ingestion.

    "However, although there has been media coverage of potential GBL-related fatalities in the UK, there have only been three previous reports of GBL-related fatality, two in Germany and one in the USA.

    "We report here the first case of a fatality related to isolated GBL toxicity in the UK, which we feel supports the case for classifying GBL similar to that of GHB."

    GBL is used in the chemical industry and appears in cleaning products, solvents and paints.

    The doctors wrote that medical records showed that there had been recent increases in the number of patients suffering overdoses caused by GBL - almost certainly caused by the fact that GHB had been made a controlled drug in 2003.

    The Home Office decision to ban GBL and other "legal highs" came after a recommendation from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and a campaign by the family of 21-year-old Hester Stewart.

    The Brighton medical student died in April after taking GBL and drinking alcohol. Her parents lobbied the government to ban the drug saying they could not understand why it was banned for personal use in the US and Canada, but not in the UK.

    By Dominic Casciani
    December 23, 2009
    BBC News


  1. chillinwill
    First UK death solely linked to GBL reported

    The first death in the UK solely linked to GBL, a man from London, has come to light as the Government moved to outlaw the drug.

    GBL is one of a number of "legal high" drugs now banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The substance is now officially a Class C drug, possession of which may incur a penalty of up to two years imprisonment.

    The crackdown followed the high profile case of Brighton medical student Hester Stewart, 21, who died in April after taking GBL. The blonde cheerleader student was said to have been killed by a combination of the drug and alcohol.

    However the new case reported is the first fatality in the UK to involve GBL alone.

    Doctors writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine said the 25-year-old male was found unconscious in bed by his partner, who attempted to resuscitate him and called an ambulance.

    He had taken GBL the previous evening while out clubbing, and had been "acting strangely" after returning home six hours before he was found.

    Attempts to revive the man on the way to hospital and on arrival proved in vain. He suffered a prolonged cardiac arrest and died.

    A post-mortem examination revealed evidence of GBL but no sign of any other drugs, including alcohol.

    The medical team, led by Dr Paul Dargan from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, wrote: "We report here the first UK case of a fatality related to confirmed, isolated GBL toxicity..

    "GBL is widely used in the UK chemical industry and it is reported that over 1,000 tonnes are imported into the UK per year for industrial purposes. It is used as an intermediate solvent in the electronics industry and in the production of domestic and industrial cleaning products and paints."

    December 23, 2009
    Associated Press
  2. bubbly nubs
    The problem will not go away there will be people still importing GBL, now more people have the taste for it.

    I wonder exactly how much GBL was detected in his blood?
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