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May 21, 1997

Coma-Inducing Drug GHB May Be Reclassified

JAMA. 1997;277(19):1505-1506. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540430017006

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INCREASING numbers of reports of psychotic illnesses associated with the use of a relatively new recreational drug, γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), have led the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to consider recommending that it be classified as a schedule I drug. If the proposal is accepted by the US Department of Health and Human Services, possession of GHB will become a criminal offense.

To be classified as a schedule I drug, a drug must have no currently accepted medical use, be likely to be abused, and be not proven safe when used under medical supervision.

See also p 1511.

Speaking at a session devoted to GHB during this year's annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences held in New York, NY, DEA scientist Thomas DiBerardino, PhD, suggested that the agency would shortly recommend that GHB be classified as a schedule I controlled substance. "Preliminary findings suggest that GHB does have a