One of the greatest concerns I have regarding GHB overdoses is the increasing number of people who falsely believe that a way to bring someone around is to give them a stimulant drug, most usually crystal. The theory behind this is that, as GHB is a depressant, by taking a powerful stimulant, such as methamphetamine, you will bring them out of unconsciousness and they will be okay. This is completely untrue and potentially very dangerous. A case in point is the death of a young woman in Melbourne last year whose case went through the Victorian Coroner’s Court last week. Her story is extremely sad and is a perfect example of what not to do in an overdose situation.

According to a report published in The Australian, 21-year-old Belinda Davey went out partying to the early hours. She finally ended up at well-known recovery venue and was sold GHB. According to her friends she had only recently started taking illicit drugs and was not particularly well-informed. When she got to the recovery venue she found a dealer who sold her ecstasy. According to the dealer (who was later sentenced to three months’ jail for trafficking and possession), she then inadvertently drank from a bottle containing GHB, mistaking it for water. She quickly realised that it wasn’t water and spat it out. The dealer then suggested that she neutralise the effect by smoking crystal from a pipe. He then rubbed one gram of speed inside her mouth and around her gums.

Several people who were around at the time suggested that an ambulance be called but the dealer refused. He later testified in court that he had continued to monitor her breathing and pulse. Her friend began to panic and was afraid she was going to die so left in a taxi and went home. Belinda took G at 12:35pm. At 6pm, an off-duty police officer found her and called an ambulance crew, who attempted resuscitation. She remained in cardiac arrest and at 6:46pm, was declared dead.

The coroner found that the young woman’s death was preventable and said, For whatever reason, from the dealer either thinking she would recover and the use of speed would assist in that recovery or, as is more likely, not wanting police attention with the risk of being discovered, to the individuals in the drug scene not wanting to take any responsibility, what occurred was clearly very wrong.

The practice of using crystal (or any other stimulant) to bring someone out of unconsciousness is not only pointless but also extremely dangerous. Many people who use G will read this story and say things like she took too much, she hadn’t taken it before or some other comment justifying their own drug use, implying that this couldn’t happen to them. Don’t be fooled into thinking GHB is a bit of fun and that the warnings about the drug don’t apply to you because you know what you are doing. Things do go wrong even if you are extremely careful.

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?

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