TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities in Philadelphia stopped six gallons of an industrial chemical solvent known on the streets as “coma in a bottle,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said Wednesday.
CBP authorities said the combined six gallons of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), also known as liquid ecstasy, arrived from France in two shipments, both of which were seized Saturday as they headed to an address in Hillsborough County, Florida.
In each shipment, officers found a plastic container filled with an “opaque liquid” identified as GBL, which the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration classifies as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
That means “it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision,” the DEA says.
GBL, the DEA says, is a chemical compound of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), a highly addictive depressant that affects the central nervous system and can cause respiratory distress, coma, or even death.
Officers said GBL is meant to be used as a solvent to strip paint and rust, but GHB is used by bodybuilders to increase the growth hormone and by sexual predators as a date-rape drug.
While no arrests have been made, the CBP said it “will continue to use our border security authority to search suspect international parcels and intercept dangerous products that could seriously harm American citizens.”
“CBP officers and agents seized an average of 2,895 pounds of dangerous drugs every day at our nation’s air, land, and sea ports of entry” in 2022, it said.