Inquiry Calls As Student Dies After Taking 'Party Drug'

The mother of a 21-year-old medical student who was found dead at a house after taking GBL has called for an inquiry into why the 'party drug' has not been banned.

Hester Stewart from Brighton, East Sussex, died on Sunday morning after attending a party with friends, where it is thought she took the liquid substance GBL.

Police are now investigating whether Miss Stewart - who was studying molecular medicine at Sussex University - took the drug unknowingly during an evening out with friends in the city.

GBL is illegal in many countries but has not been banned in Britain.

The 21-year-old’s mother Maryon, a nutritionist, said she felt "absolutely devastated" that government proposals in August last year to ban GBL (Gamma-Butyrolactone) following a consultation had not been implemented.

She said: "I'm absolutely devastated I've lost my daughter. She wasn't the kind of girl who would risk her life.

"There should be a formal inquiry to find out why it's been banned in Canada and America, but the UK cannot get its act together and ban it for personal use."

She added: "I know my daughter would have wanted me to make her death more meaningful if that’s even vaguely possible.

"She was the most caring, beautiful, intelligent, warm, wonderful girl you could ever wish to meet."

The Home Office evidence showed its misuse was low, but "we are concerned that its use appears to be increasing".

"GBL has a number of legitimate uses, such as cleaning agents, paints and nail polish, and we will consult with the chemical industry and the wider public over the coming months," the spokesman added.

A post mortem examination is being held, and toxicology test results are expected in the coming week.


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