NL
 

The Netherlands & Belgium

Prevention of GHB overdose

In the Netherlands and Belgium, the number of young people frequently using gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) has been rising. GHB is used in nightlife. It is estimated that in the Netherlands alone there is a group of 22,000 people who use GHB daily and who have developed a strong physical dependence on GHB.

Among GHB users, overdose occurs in various forms, ranging from a very brief loss of consciousness (a ‘G-nap’) to serious convulsions and lethal overdose. Young people do not view physical reactions to GHB as problematic per se and have a relaxed attitude toward their use of drugs.


Hard-to-reach groups
The group of daily users of GHB is hard to reach by means of traditional field work:

  • Users often take GHB when they are at home alone.
  • Furthermore, we actually know very little about the group of people for whom GHB has become a daily need.

The same can be said about young people in other European countries who use other types of drugs but display similarly risky behavior and who are not reached by preventive campaigns or harm reduction education.

Study & results
In order to gain insight into the above metioned cases, a Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) study was carried out (between June and October 2014) among GHB users in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2014. In September 2015, we will make the results of the study known to a broad European readership.


Partners
In addition to the Centrum voor Verslavings Onderzoek / Centre for Dependence Studies (CVO), our most important partner, Mainline works with a large network of organizations in the Netherlands and Belgium: the Trimbos Institute, the Rainbow Group (Correlations network), IrisZorg, CGG Vagga and Free Clinic.

We draw on the expertise of APDES in Portugal with regard to heroin overdose. To find out whether the results of our project are also relevant for users of other types of drugs

Contactperson: Renate van Bodegom



than opiates,
we work with Progressive from the Czech Republic because of their experience with crystal methamphetamine and the Romanian Harm Reduction Network on the basis of their knowledge of mephedrone. Finally, we coordinate our project with the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC).

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This project has been produced with the financial support from the European Commission* and Fonds Psychische Gezondheid | the Dutch Mental Health Foundation.

*) The Mainline Foundation is exclusively responsible for this website's content. The European Commission can in no way be held responsible for it.

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