Quadruplication of GHB poisoning in Dutch hospitals

The number of people admitted into hospital because of GHB poisoning has quadrupled in the period 2004-2009. In total, 1200 persons were admitted in the ER’s of hospitals who had swallowed the party drug (23 persons per week). This was reported by the Consumer and Safety Foundation last Sunday.
Almost sixty percent of the treatments took place in the weekend. It mainly concerns males (69 percent). Something more than half of the victims was in the age of 20 to 29 years, one in five in the age of 30 to 39 (22 percent) and fourteen percent between 15 and 19.

Many of the patients not only used GHB, but also alcohol (34%) or other drugs like XTC (10%), cocaine (7%) or speed (1%). Almost all victims at the ER’s suffer from GHB poisoning, 40 percent need to be admitted into hospital, half of which even at the IC department.

Going ‘out’ because of GHB is regarded as something normal. The Consumer and Safety Foundation wants there to be more education and information on GHB. According to the foundation the party drug now has a too positive image: “It’s cheap, simply to get, people break loose and become jolly and do not suffer a hangover. That image has to change for reality. GHB is addictive and can even be life threatening. And the long term damage to health is not yet known.”

(Source: http://www.veiligheid.nl/csi/veilighe id.nsf/wwwVwContent/M_7CC86ED715F24DE9C125778500330C70) Aug 2010

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