Date Rape Drugs – GHB and Rohypnol®
Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid or GHB, is a compound that was initially used by body builders to stimulate muscle growth. In recent years it has become popular as a recreational drug among club kids and partygoers.
GHB and Rohypnol® are central nervous system depressants. Both drugs emerged in the early 1990’s as “drug-assisted assault” drugs. In the news, these drugs are more commonly known as the date rape drugs.
GHB is odourless and nearly tasteless. Users report that it induces a state of relaxation. The effects can be felt within 5 to 20 minutes after ingestion and the high can last up to four hours.
GHB has reportedly been used in cases of date rape. Because GHB is odourless and tasteless, it can be slipped into someone’s drink without detection.
This illegal “designer” drug is often used in combination with other drugs, such as Ecstasy. GHB is synthesized from a chemical used to clean electrical circuit boards, and is available in clear liquid, white powder, tablet and capsule form.
GHB users risk many negative physical effects including vomiting, liver failure, potentially fatal respiratory problems, and tremors and seizures, which can result in comas. Any GHB induced illness should be taken seriously and the user taken to the emergency room.
It is illegal to possess, traffic, import or produce GHB in Canada.