Sussex University student Hester Stewart died after taking GBL
A medical student who took the so-called "party drug" GBL died from misadventure, a coroner has ruled.
Hester Stewart, 21, was found dead by her on-off boyfriend Anthony Morrison after consuming Gamma-butyrolactane (GBL) at his Brighton home on 6 April.
He told the inquest at Brighton County Court they had both taken the drug.
Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said she was satisfied Ms Stewart took GBL knowingly and that "on the balance of probabilities" she took it willingly.
She said: "Whenever drugs such as GBL are used recreationally people need to understand the use of them is very much a question of playing Russian Roulette.
"In other words, it may be possible to survive recreational drugs over a period of time and then for no apparent reason the use of such drugs will result in death."
Ms Hamilton-Deeley added that although she believed Ms Stewart was aware that GBL "might not mix well with alcohol" she was satisfied she did not know the full extent of its impact.
The inquest heard how Mr Morrison woke to find the University of Sussex student dead after trying to give her a hug and realising that she "did not look right".
"I started panicking. I shouted out but there was no response."
Mr Morrison bought GBL, which has an industrial use and can be used as paint stripper, over the internet.
Questioned by Ms Stewart's father, Dr Alan Stewart, Mr Morrison said although it was made clear on the internet that GBL was not for human consumption, they had discussed taking it beforehand.
Anthony Morrison bought the drug GBL over the internet
He said Ms Stewart placed a mango in her mouth before ingesting the GBL because of its foul taste and appeared to show no immediate signs to concern him.
"We were both talking coherently, and she was dancing around," he recalled.
He said it was the first time she had taken the drug.
Consultant histopathologist Dr Andrew Rainey said the cause of death was GBL toxicity and the presence of ethanol.
He said the fact the drug and alcohol had been combined caused her death.
The inquest was told that the level of GBL found in her blood and urine were at the lower end of the scale and in some cases would not have ended in death.
Since her death, Ms Stewart's family has led a campaign to press the government to ban GBL in the UK.
Mr Morrison was arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs by Sussex Police but no further action was taken against him in relation to Ms Stewart's death because the purchase and use of GBL is not unlawful.
The pair had met while Ms Stewart was a cheerleader for the university's American football team.
Dr Alan Stewart said lessons should be learned from his daughter's death