Two friends have died after taking mephedrone at the weekend. Louis Wainwright, 18, and Nicholas Smith, 19 were pronounced dead on Monday following a night out in Scunthorpe. There is now mounting pressure for the “legal high” drug, also know as “miaow miaow” to be banned.
This morning head teachers have called for urgent action. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has said it holds the same dangers as any Class A drug. The NAHT general secretary Mick Brookes has stated how serious consideration should be taken into banning it. However, also stated that “The problem with that is that you then criminalise the people who take it, so we need to think very carefully about what we do, but act with some speed.”
There has been increased concern over the drug in schools. It has been said that children as young as nine have taken the drug. Dr David Wood, consultant clinical toxicologist at Guys and St Thomas’s hospital has stated how the drug has clearly many dangers. He told Radio 4’s today programme that “We know that it’s a stimulant drug similar to cocaine, amphetamine or MDMA,”
The long term effect of taking the drug is unknown. Significant acute effects have already been seen such as increased agitation, anxiety, fast heart rates and high blood pressure. As well as headaches, nausea, a burning throat, nose bleeds and purple joints, especially the knees and hands and insomnia. These are not the first deaths linked with the drug, two people have previously died in Britain, and in other European countries the drug is illegal including Germany and Norway
Two men, aged 26 and 20, and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested in connection with the death of Louis Wainwright and Nicholas Smith. Post Mortem examinations are now being carried out. Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oliver, senior investigating officer, said: “We would encourage anyone who may have taken the drug or knows somebody who has taken the drug to attend a local hospital as a matter of urgency.”
The Government’s drugs advisory committee is due to discuss banning mephedrone on March 29.
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