Publishers and media owners are being warned to be on their guard
against attempts to advertise a clubland drug which boosts sex drive but
is a potential killer when mixed with alcohol.
The alert concerns GHB - nicknamed ’Liquid Ecstasy’ - which has been
gaining popularity as a ’recreational’ drug in Britain even though its
promotion is a criminal offence.
Now the Committee of Advertising Practice is urging media owners to get
in touch before accepting any ads they think might be for GHB.
Its action follows mounting concern by the Government’s Medicines
Control Agency and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that GHB
might be advertised as a sexual stimulant.
Although possession of the unlicensed GHB is not an offence under the
Misuse of Drugs Act because it is classed as a medicine, unauthorised
manufacture of it is illegal.
Caroline Crawford, communications director of the Advertising Standards
Authority, said: ’We’re unaware of any attempts so far to advertise GHB
but we are concerned that publicity about the drug may tempt some
advertisers to leap on the bandwagon.’
GHB, developed in the US as a pre-surgery anaesthetic, has been banned
in some US states after criticism by the Federal Food and Drug
During the 80s GHB, then classed as ’benign’, was widely available in
health food stores where it was bought mainly by body-builders to
stimulate hormone growth. More recently it has been a hit with
club-goers because of its claimed effectiveness at breaking down social