Police find new dangerous 'rape drug' in Western Downs

DALBY police have discovered a new and potentially dangerous "rape drug" in town, and some Dalby locals have already been found abusing it.

Gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant, sometimes referred to as "fantasy", that causes euphoria, tremors, increased sex drive and nausea, and a number of locals have already been found with the illicit substance.

Dalby police sergeant Ange Gates said a few people have been charged with possession of GHB.

"Four people have been charged since the end of May," she said.

Despite these cases, sergeant Gates said there are still relatively few GHB offences compared to other drugs such as cannabis and methamphetamine, especially in Dalby.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation spokeswoman Melinda Lucas said one of the biggest risks of GHB is that it can render someone unconscious paving the way for other people to harm the user.

"That increases the risk of somebody else doing harm to a person because you're unable to respond," she said.

"Because of the effect of GHB in such as a small amount can make someone unconscious, it does increase the risk of someone coming into harm."

As with any other drug, there is no safe limit for using GHB.

"It's one of the few illicit drugs that has the potential for dependence and will put people into a withdrawal state," Ms Lucas said.

The percentage of the Australian population that use this drug is still very small, but it's long-term health effects are still largely unknown.

Police are currently working with relevant bodies to discover exactly who has access to the dangerous drug and how they can stop it spreading nation-wide.

"In a household survey you're looking at 0.1 per cent of the population," Ms Lucas said.

"One of the things that would be great is to get a lot more accurate data."

Gammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant that causes euphoria, tremors, increased sex drive and nausea and is often considered a 'rape drug'.

Sergeant Ange Gates said a few people have been charged with possession of GHB since late May.

"Four people have been charged since the end of May," she said.

"It's sometimes called 'fantasy'."

Despite these cases, there are still relatively few GHB offences compared to other drugs such as cannabis and methamphetamine.

"It's still not very common in Dalby."

The maximum penalty for possession or supplying of GHB is 25 years imprisonment.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation spokeswoman Melinda Lucas said one of the biggest risks of GHB is that it can render someone unconscious paving the way for other people to harm the user.

"That increases the risk of somebody else doing harm to a person because you're unable to respond," she said.

"Because of the effect of GHB in such as a small amount can make someone unconscious, it does increase the risk of someone coming into harm."

As with any other drug, there is no safe limit for using GHB.

"It's one of the few illicit drugs that has the potential for dependence and will put people into a withdrawal state."

The percentage of the Australian population that use this drug is still very small, but it's long-term health effects are still largely unknown.

"In a household survey you're looking at 0.1% of the population," Ms Lucas said.

"One of the things that would be great is to get a lot more accurate data."