The death last week of 24-year-old Matthew Ryan, reportedly after using GHB, once again highlights the need for users of the drug to be aware of the inherent dangers of the substance.
Late last year this column discussed the need for a community campaign targeting the dangers of using this drug at home. During the week I have received a number of emails from people sharing their G experiences as a warning to others.
First email: I have been using G for a couple of years now. I now usually use it for sex. About a month ago I went off to a couple’s place that I have a regular thing with and as usual we took our 2ml of G.
Things were really hot until I could feel that I was slipping away, I was becoming dizzy and needed to vomit. Everything started to move very slowly and I just wanted to tell the guys that they needed to look after me as I was about to drop.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance. Before I knew it one of them fell to the floor and the other was obviously struggling. I have never been so frightened. All I could think was that all three of us were about to be unconscious and no-one was there to look after us.
I couldn’t do anything about the others but I did my best to put myself in the recovery position and that’s the last thing I remember. Thank god we all recovered but truly anything could have happened.
Second email: I was at a recovery earlier this year where everyone was on G -“ not one exception. After four or five hours it was getting pretty messy and some people were taking -˜G-naps’.
A couple of people were doing their best to monitor them but it was all becoming a little too difficult. All of a sudden one of the guys who had passed out started to twitch wildly and then thrash around. The convulsions were getting worse and someone suggested an ambulance.
The mood of the place changed instantly with the room split down the middle about calling for help. In fact, the guy convulsing on the floor was forgotten while people argued about getting an ambulance.
Many people fled the apartment and the ambulance was called and the guy was in hospital for almost a week after.
Both these stories have one thing in common: there was no-one around who was together enough to make good decisions. As awful as a public overdose can be, there are always people around to make the call with regards to seeking medical help.
As a society we have really taken the designated driver message on board; as a community, maybe a designated sober person is an option we should consider when using G at home.
Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use the drug and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blas?p?.