COUNCIL chiefs are still battling the misuse of a dangerous drug which killed two Wigan teenagers last year.
It emerged early last year that mephedrone, also known by the street names “bubble” or “meow meow” was being used as a legal high amongst Wigan’s clubbers.
Sold online, as plant fertiliser and marked with “not for human consumption”, as a legal high, it was able to bypass the Medicine’s Act.
But in April 2010, national Government criminalised the substance making it a class B drug.
While the drug, which can be snorted or swallowed, is said to produce a euphoric effect, it also leads people to highly depressive states when on a “come down” after using it.
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Last week, a coroner ruled that the misuse of this drug led to the death of 20-year-old Steph Howard.
Several hours after swallowing the drug wrapped in paper, Miss Howard of Findlay Street, Leigh began vomiting copious amounts of blood and ultimately died of organ failure three days later.
In September, Bolton Coroner’s Court heart how Gareth Naylor of Upper Dicconson Street, Swinley took his own life after using the drug.
It was believed he was in the “come down” phase of the drug when he hanged himself.
The dangerous substance is still very new to the market and at the height of its appearance, health and community bosses admitted they knew very little about it although they were aware it was being used.
Despite the tragedies it has caused across the country, very little else is known about the drug.
Siobhan Heaton, the council’s lead for children’s alcohol and drugs issues, said: “Wigan Council is working hard with vulnerable groups on matters of substance misuse to minimise its cost to individuals and to society.
“We take matters like this very seriously and when new or increasingly popular drugs are highlighted, we will produce and share information with schools and other organisations to ensure people are aware of the facts and what the harmful effects on the body may be.”