The Mancunion

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Liverpool students hospitalised after taking ‘”Geebs”

In the space of a week, five students were rushed to hospital after taking a chemical used in the cleaning of car alloys


Five students from Liverpool University have been admitted to hospital in the space of a week, after taking a chemical used in the cleaning of car alloys.

According to the BBC, police were called to Liverpool University halls Bowden Court, at around 7:30 am on Sunday 16th February. Two students aged 20 and 22, and also a 16 year old girl, were immediately rushed to hospital.

The three were all eventually released after successful treatment.

A day later, police were called to student accommodation at Hatton Garden in Liverpool where they found three more students, two aged 20 and one aged 19, who also had to be rushed to hospital. All three were later discharged.

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of supplying a class C drug.

Detective Superintendent Chris Green, of Merseyside Police, said that all six individuals “had taken a product called Geebs, which is actually a chemical used to clean alloy wheels and is used as a legal high.”

“This substance is a chemical used to clean car wheels and even in small doses can kill.

“We will be working with universities in the city in the coming days to warn students about the dangers that drugs and chemicals can have when taken, particularly if mixed with alcohol, or other substances.”

Gamma-butyrolactone, otherwise known as Geebs, has previously been dubbed a ‘coma in a bottle’.

‘Geebs’ is legal when used in industry. But illegal if a person intends to consume. Possession can carry a sentence of up to two years, while supply can lead to a maximum of 14 years in prison.

According to FRANK, the drug can produce “feelings of euphoria, reduced inhibitions and drowsiness. The effects start after about 10 minutes to an hour and can last for up to seven hours or so”. But users can also experience “unconsciousness, coma and death”.

The substance first found itself in the spotlight back in 2009, when a coroner ruled that medical student Hester Stewart died after mixing Geebs with alcohol. The drug has also been linked to a number of sexual assault cases.