Government considers controls on club drug GBL

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The Home Office has announced that may make a drug which has become popular on the gay club curcuit a controlled substance.

Gamma butyrlactone (GBL) may become a class-C drug. Just last month it was implicated in the death of a gay man in Vauxhall. David Bartlett died in February after a drink and drugs binge.

He had taken so much GBL that scientists were not able to use normal standards to measure his blood toxicity.

Unlike, gamma hydroxybutyrate, (GHB), which is illegal, GBL is 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, 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 contain GBL.

“The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs found they (GBL and GHB) were increasingly being used as a legal substitute for GHB, particularly as a “club drug,” and can lead to dependence if used regularly, unconsciousness and even death by intoxication,” said the Home Office.

“Alongside the Advisory Council’s provisional recommendation that they should be controlled Class C drugs, the Government will consider other ways in which their availability can be restricted for illegitimate use.

“Any controls must take full account of the legitimate use of these precursors.

“In coming months the Government will consult with the chemical industry, which uses it widely as an industrial solvent, and the wider public.”

GLB is easy to obtain via websites and its use has increased among gay clubbers.

One told

“The use of GBL is rife. You can buy litre bottles of GBL over the internet.” is a  website started by former GBL addict Jay Evans. It seeks to educate clubbers on the dangers of the drug.

Mixed with alcohol or taken in too higher dosage it can kill within minutes.

The Home Office has also announced controls on 24 anabolic steroids.

These drugs are already banned by sports authorities but they are not illegal.

Fifty-four anabolic steroids and five growth hormones have been controlled as Class C drugs since 1996.

Although a small number of people use anabolic steroids to enhance their physique and strength, steroids can cause serious psychiatric and physical problems.

They are associated with aggression and violence, an increased risk of infections and in the longer term high blood pressure, liver disease, stroke and heart failure.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said:

“I am pleased to support the work of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and law enforcement, to clamp down on drugs in sport.

“Some people, in particular those who aspire to Olympic success, may think that anabolic steroids can enhance their performance but they can in fact have serious health consequences.

“Today’s move will ensure that our controls, aimed at illicit suppliers, are up to date.

“In addition, we will continue to do all we can to tackle drug misuse in the most effective way possible through tough enforcement; education; information campaigns; and, where appropriate, treatment.

“Law enforcement agencies will work alongside sporting bodies to ensure that these new measures are effective against the small minority who choose to misuse drugs in this way.”

Together with the Home Office the Department for Culture, Media and Sport asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to consider the list of anabolic steroids and growth promoters by reference to the World Anti-Doping Code.