Fatalities associated with the use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate and its analogues in Australasia.
OBJECTIVE: To identify deaths in Australasia associated with overdose of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its precursors (gamma-butyrolactone and 1,4-butanediol). DESIGN: A retrospective search of medical and scientific information sources, as well as popular newsprint, for the period January 2000-August 2003, with formal clinical, toxicological and forensic evaluation of retrieved data. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Death associated with forensic data implicating GHB or its analogues. RESULTS: Ten confirmed GHB-associated deaths were identified, with eight considered to be directly attributable to GHB. Only two of these eight cases were positive for ethanol toxicology. CONCLUSIONS: Our study supports the existing evidence that GHB overdose is associated with fatalities, and that fatal overdoses occur in the context of isolated use.
Caldicott, DG; Chow, FY; Burns, BJ; Felgate, PD; Byard, RW
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