A TEENAGE girl is seriously ill in hospital after taking the party drug mephedrone.
Kirsty Elder, 17, suffered a seizure after being given the stimulant.
The drug is known as "plant food" and was legal until being banned by the Government yesterday - two days after Kirsty became a victim.
The teenager had been on a camping trip with friends.
Last night, her devastated mum Tracey, 39, said: "I an heartbroken, I can't believe this has happened to Kirsty.
"She is a smart young girl who wants to become a midwife, she isn't someone who is into taking drugs or anything like that.
"I think someone must have put this mephedrone stuff in her drink while she was away camping because it has come up on tests at the hospital along with alcohol.
"She went away camping with friends on Tuesday night but came home in the early hours of Wednesday feeling really ill.
"Then she started having a fit on the living room floor, it was terrifying. I just had to hold her so she couldn't hurt herself while I was calling an ambulance."
Kirsty, from Dalrymple, Ayrshire, was rushed to Ayr Hospital and put in a high dependency unit suffering from fits and with critically low blood sugar levels.
The fun-loving sixth year pupil at Carrick Academy is studying for her Highers and hopes to become a midwife.
Mum-of-three Tracey added: "I don't know what to do or think about this. I am a complete wreck. I can't sleep and I'm terrified Kirsty isn't going to be OK.
"My beautiful daughter is now lying in a hospital bed in a terrible state. She is covered in bruises from having the fits and barely has the energy to speak or move and there is nothing I can do about it.
"I cannot believe that until now, this stuff was legal and children could get their hands on it as easily as sweets or a can of Coke. It is illegal now but it's too late for my daughter. I hope this makes other parents realise this could so easily happen to their child and that this drug is dangerous.
"They say it has killed people so I just can't understand what has taken so long to make it illegal. The problem is that even when it is illegal, people will still find ways of getting hold of it.
"Right now I just want my daughter back. I love her so much and it is destroying me to see her in that hospital bed. She is usually so full of life. She loves helping people and is just a genuinely lovely girl."
Until the Government banned it yesterday, mephedrone was legal in the UK and could be bought on the internet and in shops.
Legislation now puts the drug in the class B category alongside cannabis. It was rushed through Parliament after the substance was highlighted in the media. The government's drugs advisers - the Advisory council for the Misuse of Drugs - found evidence it is "likely to be harmful".
Possession now carries a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment, while dealers could receive up to 14 years.
The Association of Chief Police Officers say they have no intention of criminalising young people caught with mephedrone, also known as "meow". Retailers have been asked to hand over stocks to police.
The move to ban the drug came in the wake of several deaths claimed to have been linked to the substance.
But two government drugs advisers resigned over the move, claiming the harmful effects had not been proven and a ban would criminalise thousands of kids.
April 17, 2010
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Family's fury over mephedrone as teenager fights for life