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3 people released from hospital after GHB overdose

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Posted at 9:11 PM, Apr 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-28 23:29:58-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS -- Three people were released from the hospital after police say they mixed alcohol with a date-rape drug and overdosed.

Cottonwood Heights Police responded to the Pinnacle Apartments, 7700 South and Highland Drive, on Sunday morning morning where three people were found unconscious were were taken to to the hospital in critical condition.

Police say there was a group of young adults and teeangers partying in the area. Inside the apartment, police say, they found marijuana, alcohol and residue from GHB, otherwise known as the date-rape drug.

It appears the victims were mixing GHB with othere substances, said Sgt. Corbett Ford with Cottonwood Heights Police.

Glen Hanson is a professor at the Univeristy of Utah in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He said GHB isn’t just a date-rape drug. It’s sometimes used knowingly as a stimulant like ecstacy in smaller doses and even outside of the party scene by bodybuilders looking to increase muscle mass.

“They (bodybuilders) found it can increase the amount of human grwth hormone by 50 percent or 100 percent and that may have an impact of the building of muscle almost like a seroid can stimulate the muscle mass,” Hanson said.

GHB is a depressant often found in a liquid form. It can be made rather easily so Hanson said it’s easy to get – but Cottonwood Heights Police say finding three overdoses was out of the ordinary for their department.

“We have seen here in the city sporadic and probably more isolated incidents where we’ve seen someone who has overdosed or somehow been under the influence of GHB, whether through their own device or someone else trying to drug them,” Ford said.“It’s a drug that comes and goes.”

Hanson said GHB isn’t a very addictive drug so it flies under the radar – but it’s one that’s side effects can be lethal when mixed with other substances.

“Any other drug that has is a depressant , you put this on top of that and you can suppress vital functions like breathing , cardio vascular systems so death can result,” Hanson said.

Aside from the obvious health risks, Hanson said, there’s one symptom that makes GHB extremely dangerous to play with.

“You may not remember who gave you the drink you certainly don’t remember what happens while you are under the influence of the drug. That’s all gone,” Hanson said.

GHB is a schedule I narcotic and if found in procession of it is a felony.

But with this particular case, police coun’t determine ownership of the drug on any particular individual involved in the incident.

Citations were issued.