Club drug GBL caused death of Vauxhall man
A 41-year-old man who died after a drink and drugs binge had taken so much GBL that scientists were not able to use normal standards to measure his blood toxicity.
David Bartlett died on 23rd February at his flat in Vauxhall, south London.
His partner of three years Marcello Suaruaz-Montalvo had bought the drug, which is similar to date rape drug GHB, on the internet days before.
A post mortem established the cause of death to be GBL and alcohol intoxication, Southwark Coroner’s Court was told.
Deputy assistant coroner Doreen Lawrence recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.
Mr Bartlett, who worked for British Airways as a steward, also drank a considerable amount of vodka and took sleeping pills.
Det Con Iain Lister, in charge of the investigation into Mr Bartlett’s death, told the court that toxicologists were not able to measure the levels of drug in his blood by normal standards as they were “off the scale,” reports Central News Service.
GBL sales should be banned, according to a new online campaign.
GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate) is already Class C drug but Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL) is legal.
When ingested it produces GHB in the body.
It is easy to obtain via websites and its use has increased among gay clubbers.
One told PinkNews.co.uk:
“The use of GBL is rife. You can buy litre bottles of GBL over the internet.”
www.knowghb.org.uk is a new website that seeks to educate clubbers on the dangers of the drug.
GBL is found in products such as nail varnish remover.
According to Tictac drugs database, more than half suspected GHB samples seized in clubs now contain GBL.
The campaign site was set up by Jay Evans, a sufferer of GHB addiction.
“GHB or GBL is very common on the gay club circuit, especially in London,” he said.
“I got involved with the substance believing it was less dangerous than any other.
“I was taking ‘G’ for many months and the high was like no other. I started to realise soon that the stresses and strains of life seemed much easier and I started to use the substance more – several times daily.
“Before I knew what had happened I was addicted.
“It wasn’t until several months had passed that I realised I had started to lose my friends. I was starting to go out of the house less, only leaving to shop and go clubbing. G really had taken over my life.”
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His campaign aims to make the sale of GBL illegal in the UK as it is in the US.
It is introduced to clubbers as a liquid ecstasy that is easy to obtain, cheap and less dangerous than its counterparts.
Mixed with alcohol or taken in too higher dosage it can kill within minutes.
“The biggest false statement of all is that this substance in not addictive,” said Mr Evans.
“After only a few weeks of usage users run the risk of addiction.
“Long term use or addiction leaves the user susceptible to long term mental problems such as depression, stress, anxiety even leading to paranoid schizophrenia and the possibility of suicide.”