Wednesday, December 23, 2009
GBL and BZP, the 'legal high' drugs were banned in Britain this morning! This is a big step in the battle against new potentially lethal designer drugs that have stayed under the radar from the food and drug officials. The chemical solvent GBL (gamma-butyrolactone). or 'coma in a bottle', is a regular drug of many people who frequent night clubs. BZP (N-benzylpiperazine), which has been illegal in the United States since 2004, is a stimulant which has similar effects to amphetamines. Also added to the list are herbal smoking products containing man-made chemicals such as "Spice", which are commonly found in head shops. The illegal classification of these drugs will hopefully prevent anymore overdoses; drugs like GBL are particularly hard to dose making it very easy for something bad to happen. Typically these drugs are mixed with alcohol which intensifies the high; according to the AFP, "long-standing concerns about the health risks of the drugs, particularly when taken with alcohol, hit the headlines in April after 21-year-old medical student Hester Stewart died after taking GBL".
Hester Stewart's mother campaigned across Great Britain to get a ban on drugs like GBL. Young adults who find themselves taking these drugs are not informed, they are not aware of the potential threats because these drugs were legal - how bad could they be! The banning of GBL and BZP will be the umbrella that all other drugs like these stand under, this will keep the manufacturers of these drugs from altering the formula slightly and skirting the law. Great Britain also put a ban on 15 different anabolic steroids that are popular amongst athletes.
Unfortunately, as we mentioned in a previous post regarding this subject, there are still many countries around the world where drugs like these are not banned and are still being abused regularly. So called 'Legal Highs' are a serious threat to teenagers and young adults, more people will inevitably overdose from GBL which makes education of the utmost importance.