WARNING – GHB The date rape Drug in Chiang mai

The Chiang Mai murder of David Crisp four years ago by three bar boys he’d taken home should serve as a reminder and warning to every one of the risks in taking casual sex partners or prostitutes to your home or room. This week another danger has been highlighted on the streets of Chiang Mai, that of the so called date rape drug “GHB” which is used to render victims semi-conscious before engaging in sex or robbing them.

gamma-Hydroxybutyric acidGHB or gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid, to give it its proper name, is a naturally occurring substance. Its effects vary; at low dosages it is used recreationally and induces feelings of euphoria and dis-inhibition similar to alcohol or ecstasy use. At progressively higher doses it can cause drowsiness, amnesia, unconsciousness, and death. The effects of GHB can last from 1.5 to 3 hours, or more. It’s availability as a powder, which easily dissolves in water with a salty but otherwise colourless and odourless taste, makes GHB an easy substance to lace someone’s drink with. Its amnesic properties and the difficulty in detecting it in tests after a few hours means someone who is drugged is really unsure what has happened, and Doctors can offer little explanation once the symptoms have cleared.

Last Monday Chiang Mai Police arrested three young Thais’ from the North in possession of quantities of various drugs including Ice, Ecstasy and GBH. Apart from dealing, the drugs were apparently being used to rob people, including foreigners lured for gay sex dates using the website www.gayromeo.com a dating site popular with many farangs living in Chiang Mai.


Press Conference after Chiang Mai police arrest three youths for possession of GHB and other drugs (in Thai) You can read an English verison of the story on Chiang Mai City News.

These arrests and David Crisp’s murder should serve as a dire warning to Chiang Mai’s large gay foreigner population of the dangers of meeting up with strangers and taking them to your home or hotel room. The risks are amplified several fold when meeting freelance hustlers, either online, in some gay bars where hustlers hang out or at cruising areas, e.g.around Thapae gate.

A problem with these crimes is they often go unreported, as do the frequent underage stings that go on here. No one wants to own up to being stupid and risk having their name and photos in the paper. Part of the problem is Chiang Mai has become a magnet for cheap charlie foreigners who would rather pick up a street boy, with the associated risks, including STIs and HIV, than go to a go-go bar. Go-go bars may charge higher prices, but at least they know who their staff are and provide some level of quality control, both on behaviour and health issues. Of course, there are no guarantees.

Tjhe effects of metamphetamineA further problem in Chiang Mai is the endemic use of Yaa Baa (Crazy Medicine in Thai) or Methamphetamine. With close proximity to the sources of supply up the road in Burma use has become rampant in Chiang Mai among the younger population and particularly among those from the neglected classes such as hill tribe kids and Burmese migrants. Not only does their drug use seriously affect their behaviour, as appears to have been the case with David Crisp’s assailants, but these people often have no ID and can be hard for the forces of law and order to locate when they commit crimes.

Take care and follow common sense when meeting people and taking them home with you. Think of the risks and your personal safety; don’t let those deceptive Thai smiles and your libido overrule your brain.