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Published on 12 September 2011

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Two date rape drugs banned in France

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The French Ministry of Health (Le Ministère chargé de la Santé) has prohibited the manufacture or sale of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4 butanediol (1,4-BD), two drugs associated with “date rape”, after consultation with the National Commission on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic (La commission national des stupéfiants et des psychotropes).

This decision follows the proposed ban by Afssaps (French Agency for the Safety of Health Products) due to a significant increase in consumption and serious cases of poisoning, abuse and dependence.

Between 2005 and 2009, 177 cases of GBL poisoning were identified in France and 34 four new cases were reported between October 2009 and April 2011, including 28 cases of acute poisoning and one death.

Even voluntary ingestion of the drug GBL causes respiratory problems, impaired consciousness, loss of consciousness and impairment of vital functions, which can sometimes lead to death or comatose.

It is hoped that the ban on both manufacturing and sale will reduce the number and severity of problems with these drugs.

The punishment for possession or sale of either drug will be three years imprisonment and a €45,000 (£38,700) fine.

Afssaps



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