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Date Rape Drugs by George B. Kehner, David J. Triggle

By George B. Kehner, David J. Triggle

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The management of GHB ingestion depends on the symptoms that the patient displays. Most often, physicians monitor the patient’s oxygen status. q 6/28/04 5:51 AM Page 49 Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) drug, treatment may include activated charcoal (a black powder that the patient ingests to help absorb poisons or drugs) or gastric lavage (stomach pumping). If a patient is having difficulty breathing, intubation (placing a tube in the airway) is recommended. Several pharmacological agents have been tested as possible antidotes to GHBinduced unconsciousness, the most common of which is physostigmine, a drug that has proven useful in terminating the sedative effects of GHB.

Dr. Lilly’s book described using ketamine chronically for a spiritual purpose. Some users report taking the drug, as users of hallucinogens do, to achieve so-called higher forms of consciousness. The second type of ketamine user abuses the drug socially at dance clubs or raves. In the early 1990s, this type of user was publicized by the media and lawmakers, as was the use of ketamine as a date rape drug. 1 Ketamine has many names, both for the drug itself and for the experience of taking the drug.

Q 38 6/28/04 5:51 AM Page 38 DATE RAPE DRUGS some of GHB’s pharmacological effects could also be due to the activation of a new GHB receptor. Since its synthesis, GHB has been studied by numerous researchers and has been shown to exhibit a range of effects beyond what was originally expected from a GABA-like compound. In the 1970s, GHB was used as a treatment for insomnia and narcolepsy (a sleeping disorder characterized by involuntary daytime sleep episodes). In the 1980s, bodybuilders began to purchase GHB at health-food stores because some experts believed GHB promoted muscle growth and fat reduction by increasing the secretion of growth hormone.

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