(Received 15 May 2000; accepted 22 August 2000)
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Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) was identified in the blood of 13 subjects arrested for impaired driving. GHB concentrations ranged from 26 to 155 mg/L (mean 87 mg/L, median 95 mg/L). In eight cases, GHB was the only drug detected, and signs of impairment were consistent with those of a CNS depressant, including erratic driving (weaving, swerving, ignoring road signs), confusion, incoherent speech, unresponsiveness, lack of balance, unsteady coordination, poor performances on field sobriety tests, and varying states of wakefulness. Given the ability of GHB to induce sleep and unconsciousness, it is evident from these cases that recreational use of the drug has the potential to impair a person's driving ability.
Washington State Toxicology Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Stock #: JFS15070J