A highly addictive drug that can cause memory loss, paranoia, hallucinations and even death is being peddled to young people on our streets.
Police are aware that children as young as 15 and 16 in Buckingham are being sold the illegal drug.
They’re urging parents to keep a watchful eye on their kids, and calling on members of the public to tell them who is dealing this dangerous drug.
Mephedrone – also known as Meow Meow, M-Cat, Bubbles or Plant Food – is a powerful stimulant which used to be a so-called ‘legal high’ but has now been reclassified as a Class B illegal substance.
Neighbourhood police inspector James Davies said: “Over recent months, the police and our partner agencies have seen a worrying trend,
“Some of our school-age, more vulnerable young people are becoming attracted to mephedrone.
“I am talking about a small group of about 15 young people – but this is 15 young people too many.”
Mephedrone in powder form is usually snorted like cocaine or wrapped in paper and swallowed, or ‘bombed’. It can also come in the form of tablets or capsules.
It gives a short-term high but can also cause paranoia, vomiting and headaches and reduce appetite.
It risks overstimulating the heart and circulation.
It also risks overstimulating the nervous system, which can cause hallucinations, agitation, and even fits. In 2010, there were 29 deaths nationally linked to its use.
Operation Awareness is the name given to the response by police in Aylesbury Vale to the sale, supply and use of controlled drugs, particularly focused on mephedrone.
With their partner agencies, police have been focusing on reducing demand, restricting supply and supporting those that wish to tackle their dependency.
Insp Davies said: “We have executed a number of search warrants and made a number of arrests and will continue to do so. We have been putting pressure on those that we suspect of dealing in controlled drugs, to make Buckingham an uncomfortable place to ply their trade.
“We have been into the schools and those of you that are parents may have been to some of our talks on these issues. You may have noticed support workers in key areas engaging with young people in Buckingham. This will also continue. But we cannot do this alone.
“If you are a parent or carer and your child is acting differently, staying out longer, not their normal selves, then talk to them, and if you uncover an issue there are good people you can talk to.
“There are those of you in Buckingham who know, or suspect, who are peddling to these children, and I would ask you, if they were your children would you stand by and let this carry on?
“We need people to come forward to help us join the dots. You have my assurance that, if we are given information that is credible, we will act on it and make Buckingham that bit safer for the children to grow up in.”
Call Thames Valley Police on 101 to report any information. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Young people with questions about drugs, or parents concerned about their child, can call Young Addaction Bucks in complete confidence on 01296 331933 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
For information on drugs, see www.talktofrank.com