Ghb and Date Rape the Term Paper

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In the United States, it is classified as an illicit club drug, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The primary concern is GHB's use as a date rape substance, due to its colorless and odorless appearance, and the ease of use on victims who are sedated prior to sexual assault (Drasbek, Christensen, & Jensen, 2006).

GHB was introduced in the United States' over-the-counter market in the spring of 1990.

It was introduced as a dietary supplement, as well as a sedative and for body-building effect (Maxwell, 2005).

This introduction was rapidly followed by reports of severe adverse effects at doses ranging from approximately 1 teaspoon to 4 tablespoons. Right away, there were widespread reports of poisonings.

In November 1990, this led to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration ban on the distribution of GHB for human use, outside approved clinical trials.

Adverse effects reported included: vomiting, nausea, dizziness, weaknesses, seizure-like activity, tonic-clonic, loss of peripheral vision, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, bradycardia, decreased respiratory effort, unconsciousness, and coma. These adverse effects were reported in as little as 15 minutes from oral ingestion. Acute symptoms appeared to remit after 7 hours. However, some patients reported lingering dizziness for up to 2 weeks. "Respiratory arrest occurred in one healthy 24-year-old male who reportedly ingested 'several' beers and a 'small' amount of GHB; he was intubated, mechanically ventilated and recovered without sequelae" (Galloway, Frederick, Staggers, Gonzales, Stalcup, & Smith, 1997).

Maxwell (2005) notes that the National Institute on Drug Abuse categorized GHB as a 'club drug', along with several others, including ecstasy (MDMA) ketamine, Rohypnol, methamphetamine, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

These drugs were described as being used primarily in all-night dance parties, such as raves. However, in 2003, the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Community Epidemiology Work Group doubted the appropriateness of the term 'club drugs' since the use of drugs, such as GHB, had dispersed beyond the club culture. Although GHB is commonly used in clubs (McGinn, 2005), it was argued that each of these drugs had very different pharmacologic properties, as well as different physiological and psychological effects and potential consequences. In addition, these drugs, like GHB, are being used outside the club venues, by a greater variety of people.

One of GHB's precursors, gamma butyrolactone (GBL) can be converted to GHB by endogenous lactonases. GBL is an industrial solvent and has been marketed as both a cleaner for computer parts and a dietary supplement. GBL is a List 1 chemical in the United States and requires justification for all purchase and sales, as well as documentation.

GBL is considered a controlled-substance analogues, when intended for human consumption (Maxwell, 2005).

1,4 - butanediol (1,4-BD) is another precursor to GHB. This Class I health hazard is an industrial solvent. It is metabolized in the body by alcohol dehydrogenase to GBL, which is then metabolized to GHB.

During this conversion, 1,4-BD possess a higher potency than GHB. 1,4-BD, as well as GBL and GHB, can be purchased via the Internet, and are sometimes marketed as ink jet printer fluid and solvents. They are also often found as GHB alternatives in health food stores, gyms, raves, and nightclubs. The Internet also offers chemistry kits, reagents and recipes to convert the precursors to GHB. and, lastly, Maxwell (2005) notes that GHB itself can be ordered online from some foreign countries.

GHB is currently deemed a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, due to its use to commit assault and its use as a club drug, and Schedule IV of the 1971 UN Convention. However, when used under an FDA-approved protocol, it is a Schedule III drug, when used to treat cataplexy in patients with narcolepsy. Orphan Medical, Inc. is distributing Xyrem, through a central pharmacy system, to users on registry, rather than through local pharmacies, to minimize diversion (Maxwell, 2005).

Conclusion:

In the end, the use of GHB is continuing to rise in the United States. This sedative is used recreationally as a means of producing euphoria and as a relaxant. However, in addition to its dangerous addictive potential, it is also used as a preferred date rape drug. With its colorless and odorless nature, and ease of mixing with beverages, GHB is easy to apply to a victim. The victim is then rendered unconscious for hours, unable to remember the sexual assault they suffered. The drug than rapidly leaves the blood system, making it difficult to detect. This perfect date rape drug means that more women need to be better informed, in order to keep themselves from becoming the next victim.

References

Blumenstyk, G. (16 Jul 2004). A test to detect a date-rape drug. Chronicle of Higher Education, 50(45). Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Chin, R., Sporer, K., Cullison, B., Dyer, J., & Wu, T. (1998). Clinical course of gamma-hydroxybutyrate overdose. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 31. Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Devine, S. (Fall 2003). Take back the night II: Rape drugs on the rise. Herizons, 17(2). Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Drasbek, K., Christensen, J., & Jensen, K. (Sep 2006). Gamma-hydroxybutyrate - a drug of abuse. Neurologica Scandinavia, 114(3).

Galloway, G., Frederick, S., Staggers, F., Gonzales, M., Stalcup, S., & Smith, D. (Jan 1997). Gamma-hydroxybutyrate: An emerging drug of abuse that causes physical dependence. Addiction, 92(1). Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Hensley, L. (Fall 2002). Drug-facilitated sexual assault on campus: Challenges and interventions. Journal of College Counseling, 5(2). Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Jansen, K., & Theron, L. (Mar 2006). Ecstasy (MDMA) methamphetamine, and date rape. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 38(1). Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Maxwell, J. (2005). Party drugs: Properties, prevalence, patterns, and problems. Substance Use & Misuse, 40(9-10).

Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

McGinn, C. (30 Jun 2005). Close calls with club drugs. New England Journal of Medicine, 352(26). Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Nava, F., Premie, S., Manzato, E., Campagnola, W., Lucchini, a., & Gessa, G. (May 2007). Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate reduces both withdrawal syndrome and hypercortisolism in severe abstinent alcoholics an open study vs. Diazepam. American Journal of Drug & Alcohol Abuse, 33(3). Retrieved November 23, 2007, from Academic Search Premier database.

Sanguinetti, V., Angelo, a., &…[continue]

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