TEENAGERS are being urged not to experiment with a dangerous new drug that has found it's way on to the streets of Hyndburn.
Mephedrone, known locally as 'Bubble' or ' Michael', is not currently banned by police but fears have emerged about the dangerous powder which is commonly used as a tomato plant fertiliser.
Hyndburn police are now warning youngsters against taking the drug following the death of a 14-year-old girl in Bristol last weekend and have already confiscated it from kids.
Geographical Inspector Andy Winters said: “It is extremely concerning that we are seeing more and more young people taking this drug.
“From experience of the drug we know it is very dangerous and can in some cases prove fatal. It is not fit for human consumption.
"Locally we have made arrests for suspicion of selling the drug and for its possession. But currently you can possess the drug legally.
“However, because it has a similar appearance to cocaine, a white powder, anyone who is found carrying it will be arrested and the drug will be sent off for analysis.
"Also, we are warning anyone who is selling the fertiliser knowingly for public consumption will face prosecution for selling a toxic or poisonous substance.”
It is thought teens as young as 16 are buying the drug online online for as little as £7 a gram but are unaware of the 'horrendous side affects' which include depression, paranoia, severe diarrhoea, rashes and fits.
Inspector Winters added: “I urge parents to look closely at their teens for the affects of this drug as it will cause severe diarrhoea and other horrendous side affects. Anyone who is concerned or is worried about someone suspected of taking this drug should contact police for advice.”
Carmel Fenning, Operations Manager of the Young Peoples Service in Hyndburn said: "It is inevitable that some young people will experiment with drugs. However, though this drug is described as “herbal”, reports suggest it can be fatal.
"Our advice to young people in Hyndburn is simple, don’t take it."
Alan Morinan, from the Hope UK Drug Education Charity said: “Any drug can prove fatal but this drug is extremely dangerous to people with heart problems. I hope to see the drug made illegal soon as not enough is known about it's affects.”
Anyone with information or concerns should call police on 0845 1 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.