Legal drug that turns into GHB on rise in gay club scene

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The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs may recommend reclassifying gamma butyrlactone (GBL) to a class-C drug after a rise in use in the club scene.

Unlike, gamma hydroxybutyrate, (GHB), which is illegal, GBL is perfectly legal and turns into GHB once in the blood stream.

Both drugs are increasingly used in the gay club scene but while GHB is sold by drug dealers, illegally, GBL is found in products such as nail varnish remover.

According to Tictac drugs database, more than half suspected GHB samples seized in clubs now containt GBL.

John Ramsey, from Tictac, told the BBC: “What we actually find in the clubs is a whole range of containers containing liquids… one contains GHB, but there’s an identical bottle that contains GBL.

“When we first started collecting data a couple of years ago we were seeing largely GHB with a small amount of GBL, whereas now about 60% of what we are finding is GBL.”

Mr Ramsey added: “GBL is completely uncontrolled.”

One clubber told “The use of GBL is rife. You can buy litre bottles of GBL over the internet.”

“My mates use it a lot,” he added.

PC Russell Pritchard, a LGBT liason officer for the Metropolitan Police told the BBC: “People are intentionally taking significant amounts of GHB or other recreational drugs and are then putting themselves at risk of either sexual assault or robbery.”

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will make its recommendation in the New Year.