A "legal high" drug linked with the recent death of a woman has today been banned by pub and club chiefs in a city.
The move in Aberdeen comes amid growing health concerns over the substance mephedrone, commonly known as Bubbles, which has become popular among young people as a recreational drug.
Any customers caught with the drug in bars or nightclubs in the Granite City now face a ban by trade body UNIGHT Aberdeen.
A woman died at a house in Dunfermline last month after she was thought to have taken Bubbles, according to police.
The Scottish Government has written to the Home Office calling for the drug to be banned as responsibility for banning or re-classifying drugs lies with Westminster.
Mephedrone, a white powder, is sold legally as a plant fertiliser.
UNIGHT Aberdeen chairman Mark Donlevy said: "There has been a lot of concern about this drug across the country, even though it is not a controlled drug.
"This is still a psychoactive drug and has the potential to cause anti-social behaviour, which we will not tolerate and could even cause serious health issues for users.
"This ban sends a clear message to our patrons that we will not tolerate drugs of any kind and anyone caught with mephedrone will face a ban – not just from one establishment, but all of them."
Grampian Police today backed the "commendably robust" approach taken by nightclub chiefs.
Detective Inspector Andy Imray said: "It is a mind-altering drug which has already led to people acting irrationally and seeking medical attention.
"Unfortunately, the substance is uncontrolled and relatively easy to acquire – and many people think the dangers of the drug are minimal because of this."
Health chiefs today said there is little scientific research into the long-term effects of mephedrone.
Fraser Hoggan, of NHS Grampian, said: "Short-term effects can include sweats and chills, increased heart rate and palpitations, agitation, increased blood pressure and possible psychological dependence, including the urge to re-dose.
"There can also be impaired short-term memory and, in some cases, anxiety and paranoia."
February 16, 2010