Thursday, November 04, 2004

Inexpensive GHB Test Possible Soon

Testing for GHB is so expensive that hospitals customarily only order the screen when it is suspected a crime (usually rape) has been committed with the drug. That may change soon.

The newsletter Drug Detection Report (Copyright 2004 Business Publishers, Inc.) says in its October 28 edition:

Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara report they are nearing agreement for commercial production of a test for the "date rape" drug GHB. Chemistry Professor Stanley Parsons and Ph.D. candidate Dawn Bravo said the new test uses an enzyme to detect the presence of the drug.

UCSB received a patent for the drug test in March, and has been working to find a company that will bring the drug test to the consumer market. Bravo said it appears that that "we're just about ready to settle with a company," probably within "the next month or two."

Parsons explained that GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) produces sedation and a trance-like state with loss of memory. Because the drug has little smell or taste, it can be ingested unknowingly and is often administered to victims in their beverages, hence its moniker "date rape" drug. Effects of the drug are reported to range from a mild euphoria to unconsciousness and sometimes death.

This is fantastic news because it means we will be able to gather much more accurate information on the extent of drug use, and attribute many deaths to GHB that would have otherwise been misattributed. This, in turn, will raise awareness of just how dangerous GHB is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

queensland health refuse to test for ghb, if you can't remember the perp's face! Even if there is plenty of circumstantial evidence and PLENTY of video footage!