Drug dealers slip business cards under doors to peddle their wares to students in northeastern university cities where where four young people suffered drug-related fatalities at the weekend.
Cards showing how to request banned substances through Instagram were handed out around accommodation for undergraduates at Newcastle University.
Furthermore, Whatsapp ‘group chats’ have introduced like-minded strangers who want to take drugs together, the Daily Mail has been told.
The revelations come just days after two 18-year-old freshers died in the same Newcastle University student accommodation block after they were thought to have taken class-B drug ketamine.
Last night floral tributes had begun to appear at the family home of Jeni Larmour, an Architecture and Urban Planning student, from Newtownhamlinton, Armagh who died on Saturday morning.
Suspected drug related deaths took place in Newcastle and Tyne and Wear over the weekend
Dealers have been using business cards and social media to advertise their wares to students in the northeast, where four young people – including Jeni Larmour (pictured) – suffered drug-related fatalities at the weekend
How four young people died in ‘drugs-related deaths’ over the weekend in Newcastle
Saturday, 6.05am: Police received reports of an unresponsive woman at an address on Richardson Road in Newcastle. Jeni Larmour, 18, who was a student at Newcastle University, is believed to have taken a quantity of ketamine and was pronounced dead at the scene. An 18-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of supplying a Class B drug and has since been released on police bail.
Saturday, 3.50pm: Police are called to a report of a cardiac arrest at a property on Coach Road Estate in Washington, where an 18-year-old had allegedly taken a quantity of MDMA and fallen ill. Officers and emergency services attended but the man, who is not a university student, was pronounced dead a short time after. Seven people were arrested in connection with this incident and have been released under investigation.
Sunday, 8.13am: Police were alerted to a report that a 21-year-old student from Northumbria University had taken ill at an address on Melbourne Street, Newcastle. It is suspected he had taken a quantity of MDMA. He was transported to hospital, but died a short time later. A 20-year-old male arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs has since been released on police bail.
Sunday, 1.10pm: Police received a further call to the same building on Richardson Road, where the first woman was found. Another 18-year-old student had died, and it is believed ketamine had been present at the address. An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and has been bailed.
The other 18-year-old woman – who has not been named – was found on Sunday afternoon.
Both women were understood to have received cards before their deaths, The Mirror reports.
Students said drugs were readily available and there were rumours of a rogue batch of pills being offered around the campus.
Separately, an 18-year-old man from nearby Washington, who was not a student, died on Saturday and a 21-year-old Northumbria University student died on Sunday after allegedly taking class-A drug MDMA.
Northumbria Police have now made 11 arrests in relation to the four deaths.
Students yesterday told the Daily Mail how brazen drug dealers had managed to slip business cards under the doors of their student accommodation in a bid to drum up more business.
Ansley Hirstein, 19, a psychology student from Monterey, California, said: ‘I don’t even know how they got in but they put the cards under the doors.
‘They are drug dealers and they give you their contact information on Instagram where you directly message them. We are in private accommodation but they still managed to find us.
‘They weren’t just delivered to me – they were under neighbours’ doors as well.’
One first-year student living close to the block where the two 18-year-olds died said: ‘I was just walking along and this guy said, ‘here have this’ and gave me a sticker with a snapchat logo – you basically add them to order drugs.
‘Some of my friends have had cards slipped under their door too.’
Ed Cass, a masters psychology student at Newcastle University, added: ‘In halls there were WhatsApp groups for the entire group. People would post messages asking if anybody wanted to come to their room to smoke [a reference to drugs].
‘That was the kind of thing some people were happy saying in front of people they didn’t even know.’
Police announced last night they had arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class-A drugs. He was subsequently released on bail.
The arrest brings the total questioned over the string of deaths to 11.
Two 18-year-old men were arrested on suspicion of supplying a Class B drug and have since been released on police bail.
Miss Larmour was set to study architecture and urban planning at Newcastle University
Police at the student accommodation on the Richardson Road area of Newcastle on Monday afternoon after two 18-year-old women were pronounced dead
A Police Specialist Search Team arrives in the Richardson Road area of Newcastle on Monday
Seven people were arrested in connection with the incident in Washington and have since been released under investigation.
A 20-year-old male arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs has since been released on police bail.
Chief Inspector Steve Wykes encouraged any students in possession of illegal drugs to contact their university wellbeing teams or visit their local police station in order to dispose of them safely.
Police at student accommodation on the Richardson Road area of Newcastle on Monday morning, two days after paramedics rushed to the halls on Saturday morning
He said: ‘We are all still in shock at what has been an incredibly sad and difficult weekend.
‘Public safety is our absolute priority and we are working closely with our partners at the universities and in the local authorities to ensure all students and everyone living in our local communities are fully supported at this time.
‘We are committed to tackling illegal drugs supply as these substances have no place in our communities.’
Instagram was contacted for comment.