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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-22-02

FDA Approves Date Rape Drug in Treating Sleep Disorder

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) recently approved the dangerous date rape drug GHB for its first legal use as a medical product in treating a complication of narcolepsy, according to the Associated Press. Despite repeated warnings issued by the FDA and others about the use of GHB in date rape, Xyrem, GHBs brand name, will now be sold under restricted conditions.

The drug first became notorious as a date rape drug in the 1990s it became popular for its colorless, odorless quality and ability to knock people out. Reports of GHB being slipped into a womans drink to render her immobile or unconscious have since multiplied on college campuses across the country. In the March-April 2000 edition of the FDAs consumer magazine, a 2000 Glamour magazine survey was cited in which 19 percent of female college students said they knew someone who was the victim of the date-rape drug GHB. The survey helps to confirm GHB's unfortunate standing as a common date-rape drug along with the infamous Rohypnol and others, the article reads. In addition, the US Drug Enforcement Agency has cited GHB in at least 58 deaths and 5,700 overdoses since 1990.

GHB was originally developed as a surgical anesthetic, but was quickly pulled off the market because of serious side effects such as depressed breathing, coma, and death. In the 1990s, GHB became known as a relatively inexpensive party drug, a performance enhancer for athletes and bodybuilders, and a sex enhancer. GHB is also known as liquid ecstasy, cherry meth, Easy Lay and Georgia homeboy.

Xyrem, distributed by Orphan Medical Inc., will be used to treat cataplexy, a complication of narcolepsy that is characterized by muscle weakness that can, in its most severe forms, cause victims to collapse during waking hours, according to the Associated Press.

Media Resources: Associated Press, 7/18/02; FDA Consumer Magazine March/April 2000


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