Let me preface this story by telling you that I was originally a proponent of the responsible, recreational use of GHB and related analogs. A recent episode has clearly made me change my mind. I will leave certain individuals unnamed, but will provide you with the more pertinent details that I know.

The subject is a 47 year-old male. He is a professional, married and father of two boys. He procured some 1,4-butanediol (BD). He had used this material safely by measuring all doses prior to ingestion. On a recent occassion in a rural town in southern New Jersey, he took some BD by pouring a little into the cap from the bottle, knowing it was a bad idea. Within an hour, he became dizzy, was sweating profusely, and began having some muscular twitching and face drooping. Others around him knew he didn't look well. He could not answer simple questions and rapidly faded into unconsiousness. He was taken to a small local emergency hospital where doctors and nurses worked for about 3 hours to maintain stabilization, including hydration and intubation. After some gagging (from the respirator tubes) and vomitting - presumably from the drug, the patient slowly regained consiousness to a perplexed medical staff who had been assured that this person did NOT use drugs. I believe that without medical attention, this may very well have ended up as a fatality - how unfortunate that would have been.

These materials, however common, are immensely dangerous. If they are going to be available to the public, they should probably find a way to "denature" them so that they would still be useable for their intended purposes, but would be unfit for human consumption (similar to alcohol denaturation) and impossible to re-purify in any feasible manner.