GHB Linked to Dublin Hot Tub Death

GHB implicated in death of Roseville resident

Jeffrey Price, 47, was found dead last Wednesday next to a backyard hot-tub in a Dublin home owned by Richard Shahan, 53.

Price was only found after a routine traffic stop of Lodi resident Douglas Campbell, 53, turned up GHB and methamphetamine.

Campbell then admitted to officers that he had been at a party where Price had died.

While the Alameda County coroner awaits toxicology reports to confirm the cause of Price's death, GHB has been known to contribute to similar overdose deaths.

The drug, which occurs naturally in small quantities in everything from beef to wine, is toxic in large doses or when combined with other depressants.

Colorless and odorless when combined with water, it can induce coma-like sleep states and has been linked to date rape. It was made an illegal controlled substance in 1999.

Harm-reduction techniques include coloring any GHB-laced liquid with blue food coloring to prevent it from being mistaken for water or surreptitiously poured into drinks.

Unfortunately, GHB breaks down quickly in the human body and may not show up on toxin screens, meaning related deaths and assaults may be underreported.

Hot tub users are already warned against excessive alcohol consumption and long soaks. The same precautions are probably a good idea when taking GHB or other drugs.

Jackson West reminds everyone that knowing is half the battle.

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