Nine people were admitted to St Vincent’s Hospital after overdosing on the drug GHB during Mardi Gras festivities.
While there are normally up to a dozen overdoses on various drugs during a Mardi Gras weekend, hospital staff said the most prevalent this year was GHB.
It’s not in epidemic proportions, but it was a little bit of a stick-out of nine presentations, a hospital spokesman said.
GHB overdoses had been declining, according to Professor Gordian Fulde of St Vincent’s. The drug is notable for being easy to overdose on, due to the small quantities of liquid required.
It [GHB] has a reputation in your community for being safe, but it’s not -” it can kill you, Fulde said.
Generally, our problem with G, being St Vincent’s, has become less. When not during the Mardi Gras period it’s not the problem it used to be, but it’s still there, and we were caught unawares by this heavy G-taking.
The thing that was most disappointing was that there were mixed overdoses. That meant when [the patients] got here they were sicker. One that arrived here was critically sick.
The best thing is not to take drugs, but if you feel you have to do that lifestyle, just stick to one.
While alcohol was legal, Fulde said, taking it early before other drugs was a recipe for death.
The other myth is that somehow we can do a test to find out what they’ve taken, he said.
Police drug detection dogs found drugs on 40 people during the Mardi Gras party.
The searches resulted in more than 60 charges, including one of supply.
Seized drugs included ecstasy, GHB, ketamine, cannabis and amphetamines.
Underage binge drinking also spiked, according to St Vincent’s, but was fairly typical of a Mardi Gras night and not unexpected.

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