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  1. chillinwill
    A YOUNG Scot has been found dead after taking a legal party drug known as liquid ecstasy.

    Stephanie Balcarras, 22, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire, was slumped over a computer at a friend's house in Blackpool. Two people have been arrested in connection with her death.

    Ms Balcarras is believed to have taken GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) – a chemical found in household items such as paintstripper – while clubbing in the seaside resort.

    She had been staying with her sister Laura Jane in Blackpool for a year, but was at a friend's house the night before she was found dead, on Saturday morning.

    A post-mortem examination was inconclusive and Ms Balcarras' family are awaiting the results of a toxicology report.

    Speaking before Ms Balcarras' funeral in Blantyre yesterday, her mother, Teresa Kerrigan, of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, said police believed her daughter had taken drugs.

    She said: "The police told my other daughter, Laura Jane, that it was a drugs overdose and that she was found slumped over a computer. They think it's a legal drug called GBL."

    She added: "I want young people and parents to be aware of the dangers of all drugs. We don't want another family to go through the heartache we did."

    Ms Kerrigan paid tribute to her daughter, whose funeral was held at the South Lanarkshire Crematorium.

    She said: "Everyone had a good word to say about her. She was a beautiful and wonderful young girl. It's not something you think is ever going to happen to you. The last thing I wanted to do was bury one of my kids."

    Ms Balcarras, who was unemployed, had lived on and off with her aunt and uncle, Katherine and William Maxwell. The couple, also from Hamilton, paid tribute to their "fun-loving, outgoing" niece, who always put her family first.

    Mrs Maxwell, 41, said: "Stephanie was very trusting and she loved her family – they meant the world to her."

    Ms Balcarras' sister, Laura Jane, paid tribute to her on the social networking site Facebook, writing: "My sister, my best friend, my everything."

    Last night, a Lancashire Constabulary spokeswoman said: "A 42-year-old man from Lytham St Anne's has been arrested on suspicion of murder and possession of Class-A drugs. A 25-year-old woman from Lytham St Anne's has been arrested for assisting an offender." Both have been given bail pending further inquiries.

    GBL is thought to have caused about 20 deaths in the UK. In April, medical student Hester Stewart, 21, was found dead in a house in Brighton after taking the drug.

    Student Chris Dyer, 24, from Peebles, died in March after becoming addicted to GBL. He had been left paralysed after a fall while taking the drug, but was unable to give it up.

    GBL, which is similar to the date-rape drug GHB, is legal, although it is set to be banned before the end of the year.

    The government recently launched a £200,000 publicity campaign about its dangers. Prof Neil McKeganey, of Glasgow University's Centre for Drug Misuse Research, said a ban could see similar action being taken to counter glue-sniffing.

    By FIONA MACLEOD
    October 30, 2009
    The Scotsman
    http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Legal--39party39-drug-claims.5780422.jp

Comments

  1. chillinwill
    Clubber killed by legal party drug

    A TRAGIC clubber was found dead just hours after taking a legal party drug dubbed "a coma in a bottle".


    Stephanie Balcarras, 22, was discovered slumped over a computer at a pal's house.

    It is believed Stephanie, from Hamilton, took GBL - also known as liquid ecstasy - on a night out in Blackpool, Lancs, where she had lived with her sister Laura Jane since last year.

    Distraught mum Teresa told of her "heartache" before her daughter's funeral in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, yesterday.

    She said: "I want other young people and parents to be aware of the dangers of all drugs. We don't want another family to go through the heartache we did. The police told Laura Jane that it was a drug overdose and she was found slumped over a computer.

    "They think it's a legal drug called GBL."

    The results of a post mortem carried out on Stephanie were inconclusive and her devastated family are now anxiously awaiting the outcome of toxicology tests.

    Grieving Teresa, of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, added: "I just want to know what happened to my wee lassie.

    "The last thing I wanted to do was bury one of my kids.

    "Stephanie would call me about three times a day."

    Stephanie's distraught sister Laura Jane left an emotional tribute to her on her Facebook page which read: "My sister, my best friend, my everything."

    Stephanie was using the social networking site to chat to her cousin at around 1am and told her sister that she would be home soon. But she never left her friend's house and was found dead there at around 10am the next morning.

    Party drug GBL - similar to date rape chemical GHB - is currently legal, but is set to be banned before the end of the year. The deadly substance - which is also used as paint stripper - costs just 50p a shot.

    In April, medical student Hester Stewart, 21, died in Brighton after taking GBL.

    Lancashire cops arrested two people following Stephanie's death on Saturday.

    A spokeswoman said: "A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and possession of class A drugs. A 25-year-old woman has been arrested for assisting an offender. Both have been given bail pending further inquiries."

    By ALISON MANN
    OCtober 30, 2009
    The Scottish Sun
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/hom...Balcarras-killed-by-legal-party-drug-GBL.html
  2. G_nome
    Very sad.

    Though education is the answer, not prohibition. Making GBL illegal is not gonna make it any safer, but quite the opposite.
  3. chillinwill
    Man arrested for murder over party drug death

    A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a young woman found dead after taking the legal party drug GBL.


    Stephanie Balcarras, 22, from Hamilton, was discovered slumped over a computer at a friend's house in Blackpool last Saturday morning.

    It is believed she took gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), a legal drug, also known as liquid ecstasy, that is found in household items like paint stripper.

    Two people from the Lancashire seaside resort of Lytham St Annes have been arrested in connection with her death, a man on suspicion of murder and a woman suspected to have assisted him.

    GBL has a similar chemical structure to the date rape drug GHB and is thought to have caused around 20 deaths in the UK, including that of 21-year-old medical student Hester Stewart in Brighton in April.

    The Government announced plans to ban the substance in August last year, but a delay means it is still legal and freely available.

    MPs will debate on Monday how to classify the drug, with the Conservatives calling it to be branded a Class B substance, the same as cannabis or amphetamines.

    The Home Office has been accused by Miss Stewart’s family of sending out the wrong message by wanting to place it in Class C, the least serious category.

    Miss Balcarras had been staying with her sister, Laura Jane, in Blackpool when she was thought to have taken GBL, which produces a euphoric high but can lead to nausea and death when mixed with alcohol.

    A post-mortem examination proved inconclusive and her family are now waiting for the results of a toxicology test.

    But her mother, Teresa Kerrigan, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, confirmed the authorities thought Miss Balcarras had taken GBL.

    Paying tribute to her “beautiful and wonderful daughter”, she said: “I want young people to be aware of the dangers of all drugs.

    “We don't want another family to go through the heartbreak we did. The last thing I wanted to do was bury one of my kids.”

    Miss Balcarras's funeral was held on Thursday at South Lanarkshire crematorium.

    Lancashire Constabulary confirmed that police attended a flat in the St Anne’s area of Blackpool, where she was staying, at 10am last Saturday morning.

    Although her death is being treated as unexplained, a police spokesman said a 42-year old man and a 25-year-old woman, both from Lytham St Annes, have been arrested.

    He was arrested on suspicion of murder and possession of class A drugs, and she on suspicion of “assisting an offender”. Both were bailed pending further inquires.

    Anyone caught with an illegal class C substance faces up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine, but for class B drugs the maximum jail term is five years. This is because the latter are deemed to be more harmful.

    The Tories called on the Home Office to give GBL the more serious of the two classifications because of the risks attached to its consumption.

    James Brokenshire, Conservative MP for Hornchurch, said: “There have been some very disturbing and tragic cases linked to GBL and it is important that the dangers of the drug are recognised.

    “Its potential link to date rape cases is equally serious from a public protection standpoint.”

    By Simon Johnson
    October 30, 2009
    Telegraph
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...ted-for-murder-over-GBL-party-drug-death.html
  4. cannabis-sam
    Great reporting the headline says "Clubber killed by legal party drug" Yet post mortem was inconclusive an the toxicology results are not in so how can the article say that this was the cause of her death when it still hasn't been confirmed what ridiculous reporting.
  5. missparkles
    I totally agree with the mother and her comments in the quote above. If people were educated truthfully about all drugs/substances, they wouldn't be as dangerous. It's not the drug that kills, it's the ignorance of the person using it. Considering the current governmental message that "all drugs are dangerous" you have to lay the blame for that ignorance where it really belongs, at the door of the powers that be.
    So this young woman wasn't killed by a drug, that's if the drug actually had anything to do with her death, she was killed by governmental negligence.
    Sparkles.:vibes:
  6. 10outof10
    SWIM just worried about where it goes from here, considering the GBL ban will be coming in at the end of the year SWIM really hopes that this does not force a move by dependent users onto an even more caustic derivative as happened orginally with GHB. In SWIM's work with G users SWIM sees that there is little knowledge and understanding about how a G dependency can creep up on you and how to adequately treat this. It was only a few days ago I was speaking with another DF member about other prescribing options rather than the standard high volumes of benzos that is the current route for managing withdrawal. I totally agree with Sparkles that it is how people use these substances and not the drugs themselves that are the main issue. We need to make access to treatment more readily available and certainly need to pump money into education and not just banning anything that comes to attention. Will be very interesting to hear toxicology reports to see if other substances were involved..
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