Date-Rape Drug GHB Readily Available On The Net

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Two dealers of a rape drug will be sentenced today in Missouri. The mother-and-son team Cassandra and Joshua Harvey pled guilty to selling 10 million doses to online customers of 1,4-butanediol (BD), one of several date-rape drugs that cause swift and disabling intoxication that leaves victims with little memory of events, reports Women’s eNews. Five years ago today, Rockwood, Mich., Samantha Reid, 15, was fatally poisoned by three male teens dosed her soda with a drug at a Detroit-area party.

Reed’s mother lobbied the President Bill Clinton, to sign the Hillory J. Farias and Samantha Reid Date Rape Drug Prohibition Act of 2000, banning the date-rape drug GHB. Women’s eNews says that despite the laws GHB and chemical cousins called analogs remain cheap and readily available.

Women’s eNews found that analogs were available on dozens of Web sites. One 4-ounce bottle of a liquid sleep-aid from Avant Labs called Tranquili-G, sells for $45.97 and purports to contain “4-pentanolide (patent pending),” a pseudonym for a GHB analog. The firm said it discontinued production nine months ago, although dozens of Web sites appear to still be marketing it.

On the street, a dose of GHB costs between $5 to $25 and is popular among club goers for its euphoric effects and among bodybuilders, who believe it stimulates growth hormones. It is the drug of choice for assailants who know that small amounts can disable a victim within 10 minutes. GHB use in sexual assaults has surpassed the widely-know date rape drug Rohypnol, known as roofies.

There are no statistics on how many drug-facilitated sexual assaults take place each year. The Drug Abuse Warning Network, a surveillance program run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, counted 3,330 emergency-department mentions of GHB in 2002. That’s up from 58 in 1994, but down from 4,989 in 2000.

The Harveys were arrested in September 2002 in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Operation Webslinger” crackdown on online GHB dealers, which led to the arrest of 35 people, closure of three labs, and seizure of more than 25 million doses.

Link: http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=1677

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