Teenager dies day before 15th birthday as police investigate if drugs to blame

Stronger substances and lack of information about contents of pills and powders have contributed to an increase in deaths related to recreational drug use, say public health experts

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The Independent Online

Police are investigating whether drugs were involved in the death of a schoolgirl from Glasgow who died the day before her 15th birthday.

Friends paid tribute to Zoe Bremner, who died at a house party early on Sunday morning, and wished her a happy birthday in heartfelt messages posted online.

A girl and a boy, both 15, were also rushed to hospital from the party after “becoming unwell”, officers said. “Drugs is one line of inquiry,” police told The Scottish Sun.

One friend of the teenager posted on her Facebook page: “Just want to wish the biggest happy birthday to my best friend up in heaven I hope you have an absolute ball up the like you deserve angel.”

Public health experts have called for drug-testing facilities to be offered at festivals this summer after a trial last year found boric acid and ground-up malaria tablets sold as cocaine.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said stronger substances and lack of information about what pills and powders contain have contributed to a recent increase in deaths related to recreational drug use.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show deaths caused by ecstasy have risen sevenfold, from eight in 2010 to 57 in 2015.

Hundreds of Zoe’s friends and family members, including members of a dance school that she attended, gathered in the Scottish city centre to sing and release pink and yellow balloons in her memory.

Police released a warning over a batch of teddy-bear shaped ecstasy tablets last year after the death of a 19-year-old clubber in Manchester.

Three 12-year-old girls were also hospitalised last year after taking the pills, reportedly believing they were sweets.