Drug Ban Call

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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.

Do you think the drug should be made illegal? Leave your comments below.

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Discussion6 Comments

  1. avatar

    Soooo I wonder how many kids died from alcohol related disease and injuries this weekend. How many kids have/are going to die due to smoking…

    Miaow miaow has killed two teenagers (apparently) if we outlaw it, it will be yet another drug that will be sold on the black market, lining the pockets of drug barons, fuelling racketeering, extortion and worst of all the exploitation of 3rd world countries and the prostitution of woman.

    A legal drug is controlled and regulated and not cut with various poisons (to increase drug dealers profits). Maybe the reporter could consider giving both sides of the drug argument rather than the standard right reactionary (I want a job in the media when I graduate) response?

  2. avatar

    It is a difficult problem to address. As has been seen with the classification of cannabis it hasn’t actually solved the problem; its just made people who smoke it more of a criminal in the governments eyes. But on the other hand I have heard reports of kids using Meth in school, teachers confiscating it off them, and then having to give it back to them at the end of the day due to its legal status.

    From a legislative point of view what is the best answer?
    Do you keep it legal, giving the profits to licenced shops, and therefore it is not cut, but it sends out the message that because it is legal, it is not as bad? (I have used meth on quite a few nights, felt amazing when I am on it, and the next few days felt like death and would say its just as bad as other drugs that are similar in effect)
    OR
    Make it illegal and therefore drive it underground, but changing the message to people that it is a drug and does have damaging effects!
    I for one don’t know what the best path to take is!

  3. avatar

    This is a very interesting topic in my opinion. Methadrone is so new that noone will know what the longer term effects are for a few years. The people that are using it now are literally the test generation for it in the same way that the ravers of the 90s were the test generation for the extensive use of MDMA in clubs.

    There are clear arguments for making the drug illegal and keeping it legal. The main issue that i can see is that if this drug is made illegal, then along with the pockets of drug barons being lined (as pointed out by George), the substance will become unregulated and potentially far more dangerous. At least with things the way they are now, the people taking it know that they are taking Methadrone. One half way solution would be to make it illegal to anyone under age of 18 but then that hasn’t exactly worked with alcohol!

    The one big thing that users of the drug should remember is that M-Cat, Meow Meow, or whatever users propbably aren’t calling the substance, is so new that noone really knows what it can do. Millions of pounds worth of studies have been done on MDMA and results have generally found that there are limited long term negative effects but at the moment there is not the same kind of cash floating around to invest in studying a new substance.

    It’s not something that I would personally take, but I know many people that have and they’re all fine (not that I’m saying that makes it safe!). If you want to know something more terrifying, there’s a new version that I have just read about on another forum that is supposed to be four times stronger than the original! That is something I would make illegal very quickly, before word gets out!

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