On the weekend, 25 people were reportedly transported to Melbourne hospitals after overdosing on a relatively unknown illicit drug – synthentic GHB – at Electric Parade Music Festival in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
This is a piece Mamamia ran some nine days earlier, reporting gamma hydroxybutyrate is the new ‘in vogue’ drug on the Australian party scene.
While drugs are always ‘on trend’ in the party scene, it’s the presence of different kinds of drugs that changes over time.
In the last few years, MDMA caps slowly gave way to powdered ketamine, which in turn has moved aside for GHB – a potent liquid known more casually as ‘G’, ‘liquid ecstasy’ or ‘juice’.
I know this, of course, because something rather strange happens when you enter your early 20s – you realise party drugs are everywhere.
While my late teens were a murky haze of vodka, my twenties have been a crystal clear insight into the world of illicit substances. What I once considered nuanced, covert body language now rings as deafening alarm bells. The people hanging around the music festival toilets for half an hour aren’t ‘waiting for mates’, silly – they’re dealing ‘pingers’ for $40 a pop.
Sometimes the security guards are selling, too.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that, if anything foreshadows the future drug scene, it’s the “controversial” Rainbow Serpent Music Festival, which was “dripping” with the colourless liquid two weeks ago.
Held in Lexton, Victoria, every January, ‘Rainbow’ attracts 10,000 of the country’s most experienced partygoers. This year, 22-year-old Jacob Langford tragically died at the open trance event after he ingested a liquid substance sold as leather cleaner – a cheaper alternative to GHB.
I reached out to a raver who attended the festival to find out more about the drug, and why it’s becoming so popular.