Legal, and lethal, party drug to be banned

May 19, 2009 at 12:42 PM
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LONDON, May 19 (UPI) -- An industrial solvent misused as a party drug is to be banned for human use in Britain after the death of a medical student, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said.

The compound known as GBL is used as a nail polish remover and to clean bicycle chains. GBL, which can be purchased through the Internet, also has been showing up at parties mixed in alcohol.

Toxicology tests found GBL in the body of medical student Hester Stewart, 21, who died last month in Brighton, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

Smith, whose chief drug advisers wanted to ban GBL last year, Monday said she is moving to reclassify GBL as a Class C drug while allowing its use industrially in a tightly controlled manner, the Telegraph reported.

"As tragically shown by the recent death of Hester Stewart, controls are necessary to prevent the misuse of this precursor chemical and we will work to determine the best controls of this substance," Smith said.

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