A 24-year-old man died in March after falling into a coma when he and another man accidentally ingested GBL at Petit Bain.
Michel Delpuech, the prefect of Paris police, discussed the trend in an interview with Le Parisien, saying ten people have fallen into a coma after consuming GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutrate)—commonly known as a date rape drug—in the last three months. (In 2017, there were ten such cases over the whole year.) Delpuech says that if this rate continues, there could be 100 cases of GHB- and GBL-related comas by the end of the year.
The police are working with professionals to figure out a plan of action to prevent future overdoses from GBL and GHB. Delpuech says he plans to include the club community in these discussions. Representatives of Collectif Action Nuit have put out a video detailing the steps they'd like to be taken, such as round tables with relevant associations and unions.
This reaction from officials comes after a 24-year-old man died following an overdose of GBL—which becomes GHB once consumed in the body—at Paris venue Petit Bain on March 10th. He fell into a coma after finding a bottle he presumed to be water on the floor and taking a sip, Vice France reported. A 29-year-old man also drank from the water bottle and collapsed, but he woke up from a coma the next day. The 24-year-old man was pronounced dead on March 25th. The owner of the bottle has since been identified via DNA, taken into police custody and charged with manslaughter.
This GBL death is the most extreme case in a line of related incidents in Paris in recent months. Three Nuit Fauves attendees were hospitalised in the same night after ingesting the drug in late December last year. In March, three 19-year-olds also were sent to the hospital after consuming GHB at Rex Club, Le Parisien reported.
Kindergarten Party, the Petit Bain event where the two men accidentally drank GBL, posted a statement on their Facebook page warning against the drug and emphasising to not mix it with alcohol. They also said the local clubs will unite in the face of these "plagues."
Francis Vianne contributed to this report.
Photo credit: National University Of Singapore