U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Philadelphia seized a combined six gallons of gamma butyrolactone (GBL), an industrial chemical solvent and a precursor chemical to the dangerous gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), on Saturday. GBL is known on the streets as liquid ecstasy and “coma in a bottle.”
The GBL arrived in liquid form in two separate shipments. Both shipments arrived from France and were destined to an address in Hillsborough County, Fla.
Inside each shipment was a single clear plastic jug filled with an opaque liquid. Officers used a handheld elemental isotope analysis tool and identified the liquid as GBL, a DEA Schedule 1 controlled substance.
According to the DEA, GBL is a chemical analogue of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a highly addictive central nervous system depressant that poses potentially severe health consequences, including respiratory distress, coma, and death. GHB is used by sexual predators as a date-rape drug, and by bodybuilders to increase growth hormone.
Used properly, GBL is an industrial solvent that strips paint and rust.
No arrests have been made.