A drug dubbed ‘coma in a battle’ is surging in popularity with an almost 900 per cent rise in seizures in one Queensland party hotspot in just four years.
Police made 174 seizures of GHB – also called fantasy or liquid ecstasy – on the Gold Coast in 2015, while in 2019 it drastically increased to 917.
Authorities are growing increasingly concerned over use of the drug – which has been linked to drink spiking, sexual assaults, and deadly overdoses.
‘Fantasy is the new ice. It’s on the same trajectory as ice use,’ Gold Coast lawyer Michael Gatenby told News Corp.
Police and lawyers are increasingly concerned over the drug (pictured) dubbed ‘coma in a bottle’ which has been linked to drink spiking, sexual assaults, and deadly overdoses
He explained that a few years ago drugs busts for GHB processed through Southport Magistrates Court were rare but these have grown to be among the most common.
‘It’s relatively inexpensive, it goes through your system quickly and I think a lot of young people are using it thinking it’s a party drug.
‘I’ve had a couple of [clients] where we’ve got the footage and showed them and they’ve been massively surprised by how bad they are, their behaviour.’
Gold Coast lawyer Michael Gatenby (pictured) said the drug is ‘the new ice’
It is also among the cheapest of street drugs, with Mr Gatenby saying two millimetres of the drug, which is sold in liquid form, costs $10-$15.
Health authorities have also previously warned of the dangers of the drug as it can be easy to overdose which results in coma and death in some cases.
Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn of Queensland Police said law enforcement officers were getting better at spotting the drug, which can be hard to detect because of it’s clear liquid form.
He said following a string of overdoses in 2018 officers were trained in their ‘tactical activities’ to examine liquids in addition to traditional points of focus such as cannabis, powders, and drug equipment.
Health authorities have also previously warned the drug, which can be bought cheaply and viewed as a party drug, is extremely dangerous (stock image)