Date rape drug

Sgt. Fred White with the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force said a few simple things can keep someone from being a victim of GHB.

Sgt. Fred White with the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force said law enforcement is encountering more and more of the “date rape” drug GHB in the area when investigating drug use and crime.

Less than two weeks ago White and the task force announced the seizure of 2 ½ gallons of GBL, a precursor to GHB, following Operation Red Dawn where the task force also seized ecstasy, marijuana, crack cocaine and synthetic marijuana and arrested 17 people.

“GBL is usually cut,” White said. “Two and ½ gallons is enough to make 5 gallons of GHB.”

White said it takes only a small amount of the drug to render the effects and it is commonly delivered to drinks via a small bottle similar to what eye drops come in.

“It is used in small amounts most often mixed into drinks,” White said. “It is odorless, tasteless and hard to detect. It is most often mixed with sweet drinks but not always.”

American Addiction Centers says GBL is a precursor of GHB, meaning it is converted into GHB in the body, and its effects are identical. However, it is two to three times as powerful as GHB and its effects are felt faster. 

White said law enforcement has been investigating reports of GHB’s abuse at both parties and establishments in the area and victims most commonly are not remembering significant periods of time.

According to American Addiction Centers, GHB in larger doses can induce sleep or unconsciousness and inhibit the formation of memories. Because of this, it is also used by some as a “date rape” drug. It is usually sold in a liquid form, making it easy to slip into a drink. It has even been used as a method of murder by a serial killer in England who preyed on gay men he met online, secretly overdosed with GHB then raped according to the AAC.

White said law enforcement is not seeing reports of GHB in any particular place. He said it is being encountered at house parties and establishments and by all ages, races and both sexes.

“Anybody could fall victim to it with it being orderless, colorless and tasteless,” White said.

White said the task force has open investigations where victims lost memory of significant lengths of time and believe there might be more victims out there.

White said law enforcement is not really seeing GBL at the stage of being put in drinks as it does not have as long of an effect on the body as GHB.

White said a few simple things can keep someone from being a victim of GHB.

“Fix your own drink is the first thing,” White said. “Don’t drink after someone says, ‘Hey, try this.’ And always keep an eye on your drink.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.

Staff Writer

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.