Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 14:56 UK

Move to outlaw two 'party' drugs

Hester Stewart
Sussex University student Hester Stewart died after taking GBL

Two "party" drugs linked to the death of young people will be banned under plans unveiled by the Home Office.

The move will make BZP - also known as herbal ecstasy - and industrial solvent GBL, sold as a "legal high", illegal.

The parents of Hester Stewart, 21, who died after taking GBL in Brighton last month, wrote to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith asking her to change the law.

And a coroner urged BZP to be banned after mortgage broker Daniel Backhouse, 22, died after using the drug.

The proposal would categorise BZP - which Mr Backhouse had mixed with ecstasy powder - as a Class C drug.

'Changing environment'

Ms Smith said: "I am determined that we respond to the dangers of these drugs and that is why I have committed to controlling them.

"It is absolutely right that we continue to adapt our drug policy to the changing environment of substance misuse.

"This is the next step in tackling the unregulated market of so-called 'legal highs'."

BZP - made illegal in the Republic of Ireland earlier this year - would carry a UK prison term of up to two years for possession and 14 years for dealing.

The drug, originally a worming treatment for cattle, can cause serious heart problems, vomiting, anxiety attacks, mood swings and seizures.

GBL is taken as a substitute for party drug GHB, which is already outlawed.

The Home Office's consultation paper on the drugs also includes proposals to ban some anabolic steroids, which have been linked to infertility and liver problems.

Print Sponsor

Drug ban plea after student dies
29 Apr 09 |  Sussex
Liquid ecstasy deaths probe find
02 Oct 08 |  North East/N Isles
Warning over 'legal high' pills
20 Mar 07 |  Health

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific