The Borough of Lambeth is one of the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities within the Metropolitan area, with 16 major venues including pubs, saunas and clubs. It’s also the home of some of London’s most popular club nights, particularly in the Vauxhall area. Over the past year, a recreational drug problem in relation to GHB/GHL (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate) use has emerged. This has led Terrence Higgins Trust and Lambeth Police to launch a GHB awareness initiative in the borough.
GHB/GBL is often sold as a liquid. The level at which people respond to GHB varies, and therefore overdosing is relatively easy. Overdosing can cause seizures or unconsciousness, resulting in the need for hospitalisation. Mixing GHB/GHL with alcohol or other depressants can be extremely dangerous and has caused deaths from respiratory failure.
Lambeth Police LGBT Liaison Officers and a THT outreach worker will be conducting two outreach sessions per month at LGBT venues within Lambeth, delivering information and advice on GHB usage, beginning with Action at the Renaissance Rooms on Saturday 17th July.
Glyn Thomas, Senior Project Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust said: “It’s great that we can work with the Police on this issue. From our different perspectives, we can use our combined skills to educate gay men about GHB use and cut down on the number of people ending up in hospital as a result of using the drug.”
PC Andy Hewlett, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Liaison Officer for Lambeth said: “Failure to response to this situation will ultimately see the closure of some of our best-loved clubs and venues. People need to know that the use of GHB within the clubbing environment is irresponsible and dangerous.”