Media owners warned of attempts to advertise sex drug

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.

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

Administration.



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

inhibitions.