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Government Cracks Down On Internet Sale Of Date Rape Drug

The US Department of Justice announced 119 arrests in 84 cities in the United States and Canada yesterday, following a two-year, multi-agency investigation into the sale of the “date rape” drug GHB over the Internet. Leaders and midlevel brokers of Internet drug trafficking rings were targeted in the investigation - authorities also seized more than 25 million doses of GHB and its derivatives.

Many of those arrested used Web sites and chat rooms to advertise GHB and its derivatives as industrial cleaning products. In fact, the drug is most often used to commit sexual assaults. Odorless and colorless, GHB is often slipped into women’s drinks without their knowledge. It then renders victims immobile or unconscious and unable to fend off attackers. GHB also affects the memory, which keeps victims from prosecuting for the crime. “We see this drug as part of the club drug scene and it’s particularly heinous,” Jamie Zuieback, spokesman for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s being used to facilitate drug-induced sexual assaults, like the kindly stranger who offers to drive you home.”

GHB has been linked to 72 deaths, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is often found on college campuses, a 2000 Glamour magazine survey said that 19 percent of female college students know someone who was the victim of the date-rape drug GHB. Despite its many dangerous uses, the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July for its first legal use as a medical product in the treatment of a complication of narcolepsy.

Media Resources: The Associated Press 9/19/02; San Diego Union-Tribune 9/20/02; Modesto Bee 9/20/02; BBC News 9/20/02



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