What makes sex or cocaine more enjoyable

Fashion drug GHB: A little G between life and death

They are called knockout drops, some also call the liquid "rape drug". A substance that scares many. Because it clouds the senses, in the worst case kills them. But there are also others: who discovered it as a fashion drug under names like G or GHB. For hard parties, for wild sex. A dangerous development - especially in Berlin.

GHB as party small talk: "My worst G-Story"

Flat share party, relaxed round, those present exchange ideas about missteps and attempts. Tried something here, been over there, the usual in rounds of Berlin party friends. Then Pedro (Name changed) on it. The 31-year-old came to the German capital from Spain, attracted by the cheap life with maximum pleasure.

Pedro works in an insurance company, a good job that he learned hard for. First language school, then further training, then the hoped-for advancement, the sky is the limit. A lot of stress, which Pedro likes to compensate, with sex, with drugs, with both.

"One time it was a bit too much," he says in the introduction to his "worst G-story". G is pronounced English and is an abbreviation for gamma-hydroxybutyrate is - an intoxicating liquid that is similar to a messenger substance that stimulates wakefulness and fatigue in our brains, but also growth hormones. In other words: G makes you awake and horny. Alternatively, the synthetic variant GBL is consumed.

Party on G: So high that rape becomes fun

So Pedro was at a little orgy that actually took place all over Berlin before Corona, in clubs, at home, outside in the summer, and now a little more secret. Drugs are common, even on this evening. Chem sex, as the (pack) bang on various chemical drugs is called, is not only widespread, but especially in the gay scene.

"Well, it was a little too much and I passed out," says Pedro. He woke up shortly afterwards, "because someone started to fuck me". At first Pedro was shocked for a short time, "what is he doing there", he thought. But then, "it was actually awesome, so I took part again".

A grim story in many ways. Some laugh a bit ashamed at this moment, others are deeply shocked. Almost everyone in attendance had seen a drug breakdown at some point. In Berghain, in the basement of a sex club in Schöneberg, another person present explains directly how a friendly couple saved him at a party in the Grießmühle: “I was practically kicked away, they gave me coke, then it went. " And then? "We fucked."

G, the knockout drops: overdosing can be fatal very quickly

G is extremely dangerous because overdosing is often a matter of a single drop. The users have small bottles with pipettes with them. Even in the more drug-friendly clubs in Berlin, speed or a pill found at the door is often simply thrown away without comment, the previous owner is still allowed in. With G you are stricter. There is a house ban in Berghain.

Because the operators know about the danger: With alcohol, ingestion is immediately extremely dangerous. In general it is often said: one drop too much? Unconscious. Two drops too much? Death.

"Consumption as a party drug is a problem that is growing in size," explains Felix Betzler, specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy and specialist in party drugs at the Charité in Berlin, tipBerlin. Between 2015 and 2019, consumption has happily quadrupled to fivefold.

Charité psychiatrist warns against more consumption: "The trend is clear"

The classics such as cocaine and ecstasy are still clearly ahead. The intense intoxication, the easy availability and the associated low prices have a noticeable effect on the numbers. “The trend is clear. And the explosive power is high because it is such a high-risk substance. "

Because GHB is actually very easy to order, even on the German Internet, even from Amazon. Because it is used as a cleaning agent against graffiti, for example, and rims are also cleaned with it. It is an industrial chemical that does not fall under the stunning law. Off to the hardware store instead of the dealer, so to speak.

The drug commissioner of the federal government Daniela Ludwig advocates that GBL is subjected to a European chemical testing system, as it is called in a brochure on the subject. This takes a while. Furthermore, a liter costs less than less than 100 euros - and then lasts longer than other drugs.

Cocaine, for example, costs around 80 euros per gram (one gram costs 100 euros in the city's coke taxis), ketamine costs 30 to 35 euros per gram. In comparison, a liter of G lasts forever.

Every tenth person in the party and club world has already tried G.

Mediziner Betzler was responsible for a study commissioned by the Senate on drug use in the capital's party and club world. Conclusion to G in it: Every tenth person in the party scene has tried it, and it is particularly popular with gays and techno fans.

In fact, there had been a first trend towards G in the early 2000s, especially among bodybuilders. It was sold as "Liquid Ecstasy", but had nothing in common with the active ingredients in the pills. Drugcom.de, a project of the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), names the possible side effects - in addition to the hoped-for intoxication:

  • Vomit
  • Difficulty breathing
  • a headache
  • Cramps and paralysis
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Movement disorders
  • Lowering of blood pressure

“The difference between the dose that brings the desired effect and the dose that leads to a toxic coma is small. Therefore, the risk of inadvertent overdosing is high, ”says Drugcom.de. For many, this is hardly a deterrent. The Charité doctor explains: “We are seeing the tip of the iceberg. The topic will gain momentum. "

130,000 people from 44 countries took part in the latest edition of the international consumption study "Global Drug Survey". A quarter of the G users among them have been unconscious at some point. Jeany (name changed), an Englishwoman who currently lives in Berlin, also has such an "anecdote". She fell over in the toilet on her birthday. Alone. After 30 minutes the search started, after 35 minutes the door was broken open. She woke up, laughed - and took a break, now a year. “It's amazing how quickly you get used to it. That scared me the most. "

Dependence on G is high, the consequences can be very severe

Another danger factor is the high level of dependency that many develop. As with other drugs, not everyone would be instantly addicted, but some would. Betzler reports of people who get up every two hours to refill because they can hardly find peace without even a slight bit of rest.

"The withdrawals that we carry out are very complicated," says Betzler. Delirium, disorientation and extreme cases of kidney failure. The withdrawal is comparable to that of heroin. And: the relapse rate is high. Also because it is so incredibly easy to get hold of.

There is also another downside, unsolicited consumption. One drop in the glass and the consumer becomes unrestrained and willless. "Rape Drug" is called G in the USA; here "knockout drops", because they knock you away quickly. In the Berlin gay scene, a case made headlines in which a person killed people with G in darkrooms. Deliberately. Rosa von Praunheim knitted this into the film "Darkroom".

It's not for nothing that there are signs in many discos: Watch your drink. G is also a problem for investigating authorities because it is hardly detectable - it is quickly broken down. The extent to which someone who passed out had something in their drink is difficult to prove afterwards.

Every weekend party on G. Until the end.

Those who use the drug on purpose don't care. Pedro, on whom someone had molested himself when he was unconscious, continues to take G almost every weekend, sometimes during the week. Often he and his boyfriend now only have sex under drugs. Also a side effect: if you look at it soberly, it is somehow better, at least that's the learning effect that the brain turns into reality at some point.

He doesn't want to stop for the time being, maybe he can't either. Probably even. The pandemic made no difference, his circle of friends is adapted to his lifestyle. Every weekend there is a party somewhere. On G. Until the end.

More on the subject:

When village children come into town and want to buy drugs, it can quickly end in chaos. The big celebration in public space is over for now. In the summer the party scene had moved to the Hasenheide. It's over. Legal raves have never solved the problem with the illegal party scene. In the meantime, people celebrated secretly in a bunker in Brandenburg. Those in the know called it the GHBunker, alluding to G.

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