GBL: In the news

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 3:47 pm

December 17, 1999: Phoenix Suns forward Tom Gugliotta suffered a nearly-fatal seizure on the team bus after a game in Portland and was hospitalized in serious condition. The Suns’ team doctor said Gugliotta told him he had taken a supplement containing GBL because he had been having trouble sleeping. The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations had already recorded 116 arrests, 55 convictions, and 38 indictments related to GBL and was actively scanning the Internet and searching retail shelves to close down sales by “opportunists.”
October 3, 1999: Nicole Pekarick died from regular use of Renewtrient, according to testimony of her mother before an FDA panel. In October of 1998, the honors college student and varsity athletic team captain began using this “muscle supplement” at her boyfriend’s recommendation. Information on the Internet suggested she could drink it before bedtime and wake up in only four hours, feeling refreshed, rested, and ready for another workout. By April of 1999, she had stopped attending classes and paying bills, was constantly losing things, and had bruises all over her arms and legs. By May she had dropped out of school, and by June she would sleep for three hours in the middle of the day. Although she kept using Renewtrient despite her mother’s protests, she abused no other drugs. Her younger sister reported that she often “embarrassed herself and “acted weird” without even remembering her own behavior, and added, “It disgusts me to see her out of control.”
In August of 1999, Nicole soiled herself while having a seizure in a public bathroom. She had to be intubated for artificial respiration and strapped to the hospital bed for uncontrollable thrashing. When she regained consciousness, her mother begged her to enter treatment for chemical dependency, but she was “clueless” about her own condition and refused. Although she eventually acknowledged she had a problem and seemed to do better after treatment, she never woke up from a nap on October 3, 1999. The autopsy showed that she had GBL and GHL in her system, but no other drugs. Her mother lamented her death, noting that this loving, caring, health-conscious, intelligent woman never realized her dream of becoming a biomedical engineer and helping the handicapped by designing artificial body parts.

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