‘GBL’ Causes Deaths in U.K. Gay Community

Gamma butyrolactone (GBL), an industrial solvent commonly used to clean graffiti, also has a darker purpose: the liquid can cause a euphoric high — or death — when ingested.
that GBL has become a popular intoxicant on the gay club scene, with sometimes deadly consequences. The drug can cause nausea and unconsciousness if too much is consumed. Users also risk damage to their stomachs, liver, and kidneys from ingesting the toxic solvent.
“This is vastly more dangerous than ecstasy,” says Sean Cummings, who runs the Freedom Health clinic in London. “I personally know of two deaths this year alone, and the numbers using it are much smaller than ecstasy. The penetration into the [straight clubbing] mainstream is relatively small at the moment and if it spreads, the number of deaths associated with it is going to increase.”
Even now, it is fairly common for gay clubbers to collapse from GBL use; one ambulance service alone answered 16 GBL-related calls on one recent Saturday night. “One minute I was dancing, the next I woke up in hospital and the nurse said I had been resuscitated,” said GBL user Sergio, 33. “I got such a shock. My friend told me I had collapsed and security staff at the club were reluctant to call an ambulance. But another guy was monitoring my pulse and said it was dropping so my friend called an ambulance himself, and I’m forever in his debt that he did.
“I had taken G before, but that night I had drunk alcohol earlier and I think that’s what made me overdose. It’s a great high, but never again.”Source: The BBC reported Oct. 7 2008

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