The father of a County Down teenager has said he believes that mephedrone played a role in his son's death.
An expert committee has recommended that the legal high and other cathinones (synthetic drugs) become Class B drugs.
Jamie McKee, 17, from Bangor, took his own life at the weekend. Michael McKee said they believed taking the drug had affected Jamie's judgement.
"We didn't really know what this was until a few months ago," he said.
"Then to find out that this is available out there I don't understand how something can develop like that.
"Jamie isn't here to speak for himself, but I do feel that that is what started him and affected his judgement."
He said that more advice was needed for parents on how to notice changes in teenagers when they were abusing substances.
They are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination and investigation into the cause of his death.
The headmaster of the young man's school, Bangor Grammar, said the school community had been deeply saddened by the death
Stephen Connolly said Jamie was an able student.
"Jamie was a lively, charming and able student who, with the support of his loving family and the school's pastoral staff, was coping manfully with the difficulties in his life," he said.
"We were confident that he would fulfil his considerable potential at A Level and, subsequently, at university. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
There have been at least 18 deaths in England where cathinones - the group of drugs which mephedrone falls into - have been implicated the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said last week.
A further seven deaths in Scotland have been linked to the drugs.
In Northern Ireland a number of recent suicides have been reportedly linked to depression caused by misuse of mephedrone.
However, the legal high has not been definitively established as a cause of death.
BBC News N Ireland
Monday, 29 March 2010 17:08 UK
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