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Party drug addiction fears. GHB on the rise among young people in Camden, say experts

Published: 13 October 2011

DRUG experts have warned of a rise in young people in Camden requiring help escaping addiction to a party drug.

Droplets of GHB bring temporary happiness and relaxation but are highly addictive and can lead to severe withdrawals.

The drug was a big  hit on the club and house party scene a few years ago.

Dr John Dunn, associate clinical director at Camden and Islington Foundation Trust, said: “It is certainly a new trend. GHB is a tasteless liquid that normally comes in a little vial. It is a sedative drug that has a short action.

Physically, there are significant withdrawals that makes it difficult to treat.

“It is, for some people, not a safe detox because of the way the drug affects the brain. If it has been part of your day-to-day and you stop suddenly, it can shock the brain.”

He said this sometimes meant addicts had to be taken to hospital during detox programmes. He added: “It is not like cocaine, which has no physical withdrawals.”

A 30ml plastic container of GHB costs about £15 a time.

Dr Dunn said that despite massive cutbacks in the NHS, the government was still investing heavily in recovery programmes and “encouraging abstinence”.

He said anyone addicted to drugs or alcohol can find help at at free NHS clinics in Camden, either through outpatient appointments or residential detox centres – some as far away as York.

Dr Dunn said: “We find when people want to make a break for a residential course it is sometimes better they leave London.”

Government advice on GHB is that it “can kill you and is particularly dangerous when used with alcohol and other depressant or sedative substances, including recreational drugs”.


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