In a context of improvement of the health situation Faced with the Omicron variant and new rules concerning the vaccination pass, the government has confirmed the lifting of certain restrictions as of February 16, 2022. Thus, this date marks in particular the reopening of nightclubs and the resumption of “standing” concerts. The government took advantage of the lifting of this restriction to announce the official launchl a national plan against GHB (gammahydroxybutyric acid), in partnership with the Union of Hotel Trades and Industries (UMIH). It was the Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship Marlène Schiappa who made the announcement on RMC radio and in the newspaper Le Parisien on Tuesday 15 February.
“This is a first in France, reveals Marlène Schiappa to Parisian. On social networks, there are many calls for help. We want to get out of the loneliness drug victims unbeknownst to them, shame must be reversed. GHB, nicknamed the “date-rape drug”, is usually found at parties in bars, clubs or student parties in the form of powder, tablets or liquid. This campaign aims to alert people to the danger of this practice “Which wreaks havoc in the world of the night. » The action plan includes a QR code that will be displayed in festive places to immediately notify emergency services and law enforcement to help a person addicted to GHB.
A systematic toxicological sample for all victims
Under this QR code, this sentence: “Scan me now to start instant chat with a gendarme or a policeman. “” No matter the time, the free chat can be activated day and night, without disclosing its identity, details Marlène Schiappa at Parisian. The government indicates more precisely that “this QR code will be present in particular in the toilets, because that is where the people who are sick. It is also intended for people who suspect that their loved one(s) are victims of GHB. Another element is added to this device: the launch of the “rape” protocol for anyone who thinks they have been assaulted on GHB.
Thus, toxicological samples will be carried out as soon as people arrive at the hospital. Why ? Because people addicted to GHB without their knowledge do not know that they have been, the symptoms being those of an excessive absorption of alcohol, and risk a sudden decompensation. The Ministry of Health specifies on this subject that a high dose or taking with alcohol results in a real hypnotic action, the lack of memory on waking, and even in the worst case convulsions or comas. It is the combination of hypnotic-disinhibiting-aphrodisiac effects of GHB that evokes all its dangerousness and explains this singular designation of “date-rape drug”.
“Let’s strike a blow, it’s time to act. »
Added to this is the fact this painless and odorless drug is very difficult to detect (dissolves in a glass very easily) and that it is very quickly evacuated by the body (less than 24 hours). According to Le Parisien, DNA samples and the isolation of clothing will now be the rule to find the traces of the aggressor which incurs five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros. Finally, the last point of this anti-GHB plan is that night professionals receive training, within the departments. They will be conducted by law enforcement and/or the narcotics squad to help them spot the suspicious behavior of people who have just drugged someone.
This initiative is welcome for female customers because the problem is very often discussed. At the end of 2021, feminist collectives called for a boycott of bars and night establishments in Belgium and France in order to point out business leaders and denounce their irresponsibility in protecting their clients addicted to GHB.For its part, the UMIH recalls that night professionals are aware of this subject, and educate their employees to guarantee the safety of their customers. They also call on everyone to be vigilant: watch their drink, take care of themselves and their friends to prevent the product is ingested without his knowledge following a malicious act.
“Let’s strike a blow, it’s time to act. », Says to the Parisian Thierry Fontaine, president of the night branch for Umih. ” We have to to be able to party safely. With the anti-GHB plan, the Government also intends to raise awareness among young people about the dangers of this product. Indeed, taking GHB is unfortunately not the prerogative of criminal acts: some people may intentionally take it during festive evenings. “You have to be aware of this, the health consequences can be serious. This synthetic drug that puts you to sleep and makes you lose your memory can be responsible for comas and lead to consequences neurological and physical irremediable. “, he concludes.