Express Diagnostics Partners with Project GHB to Increase Awareness of Effects of GHB

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New DrugCheck® onsite GHB Single Test central to partnership’s goals.

“GHB has been referred to as the ‘invisible drug’ because of its difficulty to detect. We are very excited about our partnership with Project GHB and our ability to finally offer a reliable instant onsite test for GHB.”

Express Diagnostics Int’l Inc. (EDI), manufacturer of DrugCheck® onsite testing devices, today announced a partnership with Project GHB to increase awareness of the dangerous effects of the drug GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate). Under the partnership, and as part of the organization’s educational outreach, Project GHB will include information on the new DrugCheck GHB Single Test, which detects the drug in biological samples. Express Diagnostics will provide support material and donate a portion of GHB Single Test sales to Project GHB back to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The donated funds will help further the group’s mission of increasing awareness of the dangerous effects of GHB.

“Over the course of my 20-year law enforcement career, there were several instances where I encountered GHB and I was always frustrated that we (law enforcement) had no access to a simple test for the drug,” says Rich Strasser, COO of Express Diagnostics. “GHB has been referred to as the ‘invisible drug’ because of its difficulty to detect. We are very excited about our partnership with Project GHB and our ability to finally offer a reliable instant onsite test for GHB.”

While GHB has garnered news coverage as a “rape drug,” its increased use among adolescents and young adults, athletes, and even the elderly is also a concern. Nationally, more people have overdosed on GHB in the last several years than on MDMA (Ecstasy). The fact that GHB is only detectable in a person’s blood for four hours and in urine for 12 hours — and few medical and forensic staff test for its presence — makes it likely that the actual number of GHB overdoses is much higher than reported.

GHB is also becoming more prevalent in drunk/drugged driving arrests, presenting a particular problem due to lack of awareness among law enforcement and the difficulty, until recently, in obtaining appropriate testing. People on GHB may present to an emergency room with symptoms ranging from a profound coma to hallucinations or wild, bizarre behavior that are often not recognized and may be mistakenly attributed solely to alcohol consumption. GHB, also known as sodium oxybate, is prescribed as Xyrem® for narcolepsy and cataplexy.

The new DrugCheck GHB Single Test, the only onsite test for GHB, provides semi-quantitative results in five minutes. The simple procedure involves dipping the test strip into the specimen for five seconds and then comparing color changes in the reactive pad to a color chart provided on the product pouch. The urinalysis test strip is currently available in dip format.

“This is a leap forward for law enforcement handling impaired driving cases, and even death cases,” says Trinka Porrata, president of Project GHB. “Traditionally, GHB has been ignored in testing due to lack of knowledge and because testing required a sample to be sent out for definitive testing and required a separate expensive test. The quick, inexpensive DrugCheck GHB Single Test will enable screening for GHB onsite and should improve the odds of detecting this elusive drug.”

Adds Strasser, “Trinka has worked relentlessly to educate people about the dangers of this addictive drug and we are very pleased that we can assist her and Project GHB in furthering this important cause.”

About Project GHB
In addition to researching and cataloging the latest GHB information, Project GHB provides referrals, basic counseling, and intervention through a helpline hosted on their website (projectghb.org). The Project GHB helpline has assisted more than 3,500 addicts and their families throughout the U.S. and more than 20 countries.

Project GHB’s board consists of three survivors – parents who have lost children to GHB – plus one member from law enforcement and one substance abuse counseling professional. Porrata is a 25-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) where she worked in narcotics, as well as sex crimes and child abuse. Now retired from the LAPD, she is an internationally recognized expert on the so-called “club drugs” of abuse, including GHB. She provides instruction, legislative support and expert testimony regarding various current drug issues, drug-facilitated sexual assaults, and the rave phenomenon. Porrata has testified before a Congressional committee, the California state legislature, and the Nevada Pharmacy Board about the dangers of GHB and other debilitating drugs.

The mission of Project GHB is to educate the public about the dangers of GHB and to provide a forum for those who have been sexually assaulted after being given the drug or lost a loved one to GHB, and to assist those who are addicted to the drug. Project GHB was founded in 1998 by the parents of 27-year-old Caleb Shortridge, who died from a GHB overdose. Learn more at projectghb.org.

About Express Diagnostics Int’l, Inc.
Express Diagnostics Int’l manufactures and distributes DrugCheck® on-site urine and saliva screening devices for the detection of drugs of abuse, as well as a growing catalog of health screening devices. With accuracy comparable to laboratory testing, Express Diagnostics onsite devices provide a variety of industries fast, cost-effective alternatives to higher-priced lab services. Learn more at drugcheck.com.

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Stacy Scofield
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