August 8, 2008

U.K. To Outlaw Chemicals As ‘Club Drugs’

Britain plans to outlaw two freely available chemicals that double as date-rape drugs, the country's domestic security and order office said.

Glue remover gamma-butyrolactone, known as GBL, and industrial solvent 1,4 butanediol, also known as "One Comma Four" or "One Four Bee," will be classified as Class C controlled substances that are illegal to sell or supply, the Home Office said.

Britain first plans to ask the chemical industry for its views on controlling the chemicals -- which have soared in popularity as "club drugs." They produce effects that are identical to those produced by gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, banned in Britain five years ago after being implicated in sex attacks.

GBH is regulated in the United States and sold under the Xyrem name to treat sleep attacks in patients with narcolepsy.

Small bottles of the colorless, odorless GBL and 1,4-BD liquids can be bought through the Internet for about $38, Britain's Independent newspaper reported.

A few drops in alcohol can bring on euphoria, loss of inhibition and amnesia and can cause loss of consciousness, the newspaper said. An overdose can lead to a coma.

The chemicals can even lead to "death by intoxication," the Home Office said.