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2 Investigators: Date Rape Drug Becoming Favorite For Recreational Use

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CBS 2's Dave Savini takes a look at the drug GHB, which has the street name -- Liquid G. (Credit: CBS)

CBS 2’s Dave Savini takes a look at the drug GHB, which has the street name — Liquid G. (Credit: CBS)

Dave Savini Dave Savini
Award-winning Chicago journalist Dave Savini serves as investigative...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A notorious date rape drug is fast becoming a favorite on the recreational drug scene.

Businessmen, college students and body builders are among the people taking this drug, not realizing how addictive and deadly it can be. CBS 2’s Dave Savini takes a look at the drug GHB, which has the street name — Liquid G.

To know what this drug can do to a person, CBS 2 obtained videos of two men and their behavior while on GHB.

A 41-year-old man was videotaped by his daughter as his body jerks around apparently uncontrollably.

A police dashboard camera captured another man on GHB. He is a driver pulled over by police and he repeatedly falls down. You can hear police on the video asking him what he has taken and trying to stop him from falling, “Sit down in the chair before you hurt yourself.”

Both are using GHB, gamma Hydroxybutyrate, recreationally to get high. It is most widely known as the date rape drug which causes victims to black out and not remember anything.

A former GHB user warns it can be highly addictive and a drug that grabs hold of your life.

“Awful,” said Ira Bliss who started using GHB while body building to help him sleep and to help his muscles recover from workouts. “You start using more and more of it. It’s like you can’t be without it.”

Bliss now wants to warn others to stay off the drug, “It’s evil. It’s pure evil.”

Jack Riley, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), agrees, “It becomes extremely addictive very, very quickly.”

Riley says there is an increase in GHB being used recreationally and people are dying.

“You’re basically ingesting something that we would be taking the varnish off of wooden floors with and I don’t think people think about that,” said Riley.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have been intercepting large quantities of GHB being sent mostly from Asia. Drug dealers are trying to get the drugs shipped into this country in jugs disguised as cleaning products and in small spray bottles.

A water bottle capful is considered a dose. A full one of those bottles of just undiluted GHB is worth $200. A 55-gallon drum full is worth a million dollars.

The price to make it is dropping says Brian Bell from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “They are trying to flood the market.”

There are plenty of customers from businessmen to college students. Trinka Porrata, a former Los Angeles narcotics officer, runs Project GHB, a website focused on helping addicts and former users, from her Arizona home.

“Nobody’s really keeping track,” said Porrata added that often drivers under the influence of GHB are not tested for that particular drug and escape driving under the influence charges.

“That’s why it’s so perfect,” said Porrata. “It’s very difficult to test for. It’s not on the standard drug screens.”

Porrata says there needs to be better testing by law enforcement and says more coroners need to test for GHB too. She says she knows of more than a dozen GHB-related deaths in Illinois but suspects the number is higher. Porrata also says it is hard to find good treatment programs to help users with the lengthy and difficult detox, which itself could be deadly.

Ira Bliss agrees and says he could have used more help back when he struggled to get off GHB.

For support and information about battling GHB addiction, visit www.projectghb.org.