Extent of GHB Abuse
February 24, 2019
GHB, typically with alcohol use, was linked to more than 60 deaths from January 1992 to May 2001. Roughly 60 percent of the deaths were in people between the ages of 20 and 29.4 According to one report, the number of emergency department visits in which GHB or GBL is mentioned increased from 56 in 1994 to 4,969 in 2000.
GHB use has been surveyed since the year 2000 in the Monitoring the Future Survey, and rates have remained historically low in the 8th to 12th grade U.S. population. The annual prevalence of GHB use in 2010 was 0.6%, 0.6%, and 1.4% in grades 8, 10, and 12, respectively. Comparatively, in 2009, 0.7 percent of 8th graders and 1.1 percent of 12th graders reported past-year use of GHB. The highest reported GHB use for 12th graders was in 2004 at 2 percent, for 8th graders in 2000 at 1.2 percent, and for 10th graders in 2002 and 2003 at 1.4 percent.