2 overdose cases at Park City club confirmed as GHB; police, club staff on alert

Posted at 9:54 PM, Mar 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-24 23:54:53-04

PARK CITY, Utah -- With five cases of overdoses at a popular Park City event venue earlier this year, staff and police have been on high alert.

Police say the results from the state toxicology lab confirm two of the overdoses to be from the drug GHB.

"It's what we expected it to be," said Park City Live general manager Ryan Dahlstrom.

The five overdose cases stem from January and February of this year. Dahlstrom said their investigation showed the victims consumed the GHB as a recreational drug.

"It's unfortunate that this drug is making a comeback. It was around decades ago and it's now people are starting to get back into this type of drug," Dahlstrom said.

GHB is known as a date rape drug.

Police say part of the problems they've seen at Park City Live is that it can be hard to detect. "It's easy to bring into the clubs and it's hard to detect so they're searching those bags, they're looking for those kind of containers that might have GHB in it but it's not so easy to do," said Capt. Phil Kirk with Park City police.

Since the rash of overdoses, Park City police officers have increased their presence at the facility.

Kirk said the common denominator in the cases is the type of music at the club.

"We make sure that they're definitely there when they're having events, especially techno music, which seems to be the type of crowd that's attracted to using the GHB drugs," Kirk said.

The increased security measures and police presence seem to be working. The club has not had any issues since those five incidents.

"In and of itself it's dangerous enough, this GHB, that people can die from that and several of these people have almost died so we're not going to wait and see what happens we are going to take a very aggressive proactive approach to this along with the management of the club," Kirk said.

The Park City Police Department is working with the District Attorney's office for possible charges. Those who overdosed may be charged since they were carrying an illegal substance.