GHB has been implicated in many cases of suspected surreptitious administration with the purpose of increasing victim vulnerability to sexual assault. Low amounts of endogenous (or naturally occurring) GHB, which do not reach pharmacologically active levels, have been detected in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Due to the continued requirement to obtain data on the presence of endogenous GHB in various beverage types, GHB concentrations were measured in a series of nonalcoholic beverages. Tonic water and lemon flavoured tonic water beverages were analysed at 0, 24 and 96h after the bottle opening using gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) on an Agilent 6890/7000C Triple Quadrupole. GHB was detected in all beverages at very low amounts ranging from 89 to 145 ng/mL (0.089-0.145 mg/L) and did not demonstrate a general trend of variation for concentration along the tested time span (96 hours). The presented data provide additional evidence for the endogenous nature of GHB in non-alcoholic beverages at very low concentrations, which are many orders of magnitude lower than those described to produce any pharmacological effect on the subject. However, when considering a case of alleged drug-facilitated sexual assault, a low level of GHB detected in a drink may be related both to a surreptitiously GHB administration with subsequent dilution for concealment or to the presence of endogenous GHB. On this basis, a comprehensive analysis of all the available information, including circumstantial data demonstrating possible attempts to conceal GHB administration and an assessment of levels of endogenous GHB in the suspected beverage type, is of the utmost importance for a proper interpretation of the toxicological results.

Further evidence for GHB naturally occurring in common non-alcoholic beverages

FAIS, PAOLO
2017

Abstract

GHB has been implicated in many cases of suspected surreptitious administration with the purpose of increasing victim vulnerability to sexual assault. Low amounts of endogenous (or naturally occurring) GHB, which do not reach pharmacologically active levels, have been detected in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Due to the continued requirement to obtain data on the presence of endogenous GHB in various beverage types, GHB concentrations were measured in a series of nonalcoholic beverages. Tonic water and lemon flavoured tonic water beverages were analysed at 0, 24 and 96h after the bottle opening using gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) on an Agilent 6890/7000C Triple Quadrupole. GHB was detected in all beverages at very low amounts ranging from 89 to 145 ng/mL (0.089-0.145 mg/L) and did not demonstrate a general trend of variation for concentration along the tested time span (96 hours). The presented data provide additional evidence for the endogenous nature of GHB in non-alcoholic beverages at very low concentrations, which are many orders of magnitude lower than those described to produce any pharmacological effect on the subject. However, when considering a case of alleged drug-facilitated sexual assault, a low level of GHB detected in a drink may be related both to a surreptitiously GHB administration with subsequent dilution for concealment or to the presence of endogenous GHB. On this basis, a comprehensive analysis of all the available information, including circumstantial data demonstrating possible attempts to conceal GHB administration and an assessment of levels of endogenous GHB in the suspected beverage type, is of the utmost importance for a proper interpretation of the toxicological results.
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/590588
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 6
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact