A weekend dance party ended with two youths and one adult overdosing on GHB and recovering in a hospital Intensive Care Unit.
Shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 31st, police responded to a disturbance at the Polish Veterans Hall on Kingsway Avenue near Glen Drive. When police arrived, they found approximately 100 youths and young adults milling about the street in front of the hall after leaving a dance party put on by a local promoter. Many of the partygoers appeared to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
As police worked to disperse the crowd, a man was carried out of the hall by friends, unresponsive and foaming at the mouth. The 20 year old man was suspected of overdosing on GHB and was taken to hospital by paramedics where he was put in intensive care.
As police patrolled the area east of the hall, they found a second person who appeared to be overdosing on what was believed to be GHB. The 15 year old boy was taken to hospital where he also was placed in intensive care.
A short time later, police found a third victim a short distance from the event, unconscious and foaming at the mouth. That 14 year-old girl was taken to hospital and placed in ICU as she too was suspected of suffering a drug overdose related to the consumption of GHB.
“We would like to encourage parents to have a conversation with their children regarding the harmful and potentially lethal consequences of consuming both recreational and prescription drugs,” says Sergeant Randy Fincham, spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department.
“Police and community resources are available to assist families struggling with both recreational and habitual drug concerns.”
- Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) is an illegal drug. In a medical setting GHB is used as an anesthetic, but is also used as an intoxicant on the street. In small doses of GHB can act as a stimulant and aphrodisiac.
- GHB is commonly referred to as “liquid ecstasy” or the “date rape drug.”
- Consuming GHB with alcohol is dangerous as it can lead to vomiting, in combination with unconsciousness, and can potentially be lethal.
- GHB may be found as a white crystalline powder, or as GHB salt dissolved in water to form a clear odourless and colourless solution, with an oily appearance, as the GHB crystals may not completely dissolve in water.
- In its liquid form, GHB is commonly found in small vials or water bottles.
- GHB is traditionally manufactured in illicit basement drug labs where consumers have little knowledge or control over the drugs content.
- More information on the health risks related to the consumption of GHB can be found on the Health Canada website:
Vancouver Coastal Health provides free addiction services designed to meet the needs of youth between the ages of 12 and 24 struggling with substance misuse or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Staff provide a range of prevention, education, counselling, treatment and support services, in collaboration with community agencies across the areas served by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Kids Help Phone 1 (800) 668-6868
Health Canada – How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs
BC Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service – 1 (800) 663-1441
Metropolitan Police – Safe
Frank (UK) – Friendly, confidential drugs advice
Government of Canada – National Anti-Drug Strategy