Mephedrone girl dies: two held

By chillinwill · Feb 18, 2010 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old woman who has died in Wigan Infirmary.

    Steph Howard was admitted to hospital in a critical condition over the weekend, and lost her fight for life on Tuesday.

    Following her death, a man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and remain in police custody for questioning.
    It is believed Ms Howard, of Findlay Street, Leigh, had fallen ill on Saturday night at a friend's house after experimenting with the drug, mephedrone.

    The legal high drug, commonly known by the street names "bubble", "drone" and "meow", is sold as plant fertiliser and labelled with "not for human consumption" to avoid the Medicines Act.

    The dangerous substance, which can be snorted or taken as a pill, is said to cause other serious side-effects such as palpitations, headaches and nausea.

    John Fairclough, from Wigan Environmental Services, said: "We are aware of and monitoring the use of this and several similar substances and feeding back to national channels about ensuring we have the right guidance and information."

    One concerned mum – who is not related to Steph but has seen her own son affected by the drug – wants people to stay clear of it because of its lethal side-effects.

    She said: "I go out every weekend and I think the problem is getting worse, people snort it on a key in the clubs and I think something needs doing fast.

    "My 18-year-old son was off his head on bubble and after an argument with him, he admitted how bad he felt for two days afterwards.

    "I read up on some facts and told my son and his friends what can happen to you if you take it. Most of my son's friends knew Steph and they are all gutted."

    Steph, a former Bedford High School pupil, leaves behind her devastated parents, two sisters and her boyfriend.

    A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "At 11.50pm on Monday February 15, police were called to Wigan Royal Infirmary following reports a woman had been admitted.

    "Officers attended and discovered a 20-year-old woman was in a critical condition.

    "She died in hospital on Tuesday, February 16.

    "A 22-year-old woman and 26-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of supplying acontrolled drug and bailed until April 12, pending further inquiries."

    By Natalie Geraghty
    February 18, 2010
    Wigan Evening Post

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  1. Synchronium
    So, once again, the media are assuming mephedrone to be the cause of death without waiting for anything official?

    I'm surprised Gabi Price wasn't mentioned.
  2. vegoon
    Where did she find these facts? I thought there weren't any and that was why it was so dangerous?

    Yet again, middle class mothers leading the charge.
  3. moda00
    This is very sad, when seemingly healthy young people are dying. RIP and condolences to family and friends.

    That said, I do think the media should be more careful and respectful to this gal and her family and not use "mephedrone kills" as a sensational angle to draw attention to the story until cause of death is confirmed, given what happened with Gabi Price as stated. This is someone's daughter, sister, girlfriend- respect her memory instead of jumping to sensationalize or demonize her, or a currently legal (in my understanding anyway) substance that she may or may not have chosen to experiment with.

    You think they'd have learned that lesson. :mad:
  4. AndyGoddard
    SWIM find it hard to believe that mephedrone is the real cause for her death, SWIM was once takin it twice a weak around 1.5g-2g and mixing it with methylone and never felt more amazing-(legally).
    SWIM thinks that the media is trying to hard to bad mouth this drug.
  5. moda00
    I do agree that the media is having a field day... and this is not an appropriate outlet for such.

    Though, I don't doubt some users are not cautious or informed, some are unlucky, maybe not knowing about risk factors or undiagnosed heart condition or something that could make stims dangerous.. Many are mixing drugs, which is often problematic.. we won't know till the autopsy, though swim respects your guess/opinion that mephedrone was likely not the cause..

    That said, be careful how/what swiyou say here-- by stating that swim has taken large amounts or taken a certain drug on a regular basis without negative effects (or with positive effects), does NOT mean that it is safe for everyone or that everyone will have the same experience.. just sayin- no hard feelings but this is not relevant to the fact that stims and other drugs can and do cause ill effects sometimes even if swiyou or another specific anecdotal user has not personally felt them. One person's experience cannot predict the overall safety or lack thereof for a substance.

    Personally, swim finds some of meph's reported side effects very worrying, but not that much moreso than any other potent stimulant and/or vasoconstrictor, so it's relative.

    I do think that perhaps people are less cautious with it because 1) they often are also drinking and thus have much reduced caution/inhibition, and 2) I do think there is possibly something to the fact that it is legal and sold in happy looking packages, it does potentially give young people a false sense of safety in some cases- though I am unsure how I feel, I myself know that legal/illegal has no bearing on my own interpretation of a substance's usage or safety profile, but am trying to get into the minds of some of these young high school and college age students doing the party scene in the UK... so, I'm not sure, don't quote me on (edit: I meant that metaphorically, lol, you r others can "quote" my post in a reply if you want to comment back, just saying that please don't take this as gospel truth, since swim is unsure/speculating a bit), but it is a possibility that not only do they see it as a lower legal risk than, say, coke, but also perhaps as a lower health risk.

    And finally, in general, I think people are not very cautious about dosage with certain substances (set/setting/substance) when consumed in large party crowds or clubs, when the substance is "more-ish" or has addictive traits, etc. so I certainly could see people being less cautious than they could be, and like anything (again, illegal or Rx stimulants, legals like alcohol, whatever) there will always be some abuse and problems, just a matter of fing out how to minimize factors that could contribute to settings or mindsets that foster less safe use or abuse.

    So whether or not this death was at all related- and I reiterate, I am indeed disgusted that they brought this up as mephedrone caused or related before getting autopsy reports and further investigating-- disrespectful to the max, imho- I also don't see it as impossible or even unlikely that this could be linked to meph some, albeit maybe indirectly.. Particularly if combined with alcohol, other stims or types of drugs, and/or caused by pre-existing medical condition that could have been exacerbated by a stimulant like meph (but, in that case, it could also easily have been exacerbated by a long hard jog, or a night of dancing, or spontaneously at any time- things like undiagnosed heart conditions or other things like that are scary but people do just drop dead sometimes, and mephedrone/drugs are not the only thing that can cause death in such a case, but on the other hand it does/can happen sometimes, as chance would have it..)

    Well, I guess we shall find out, either way, soon enough.
    Rest in peace and my condolences to the family.
  6. moda00
    Some of the comments on the news article/site are an interesting read, some varying perspectives across the board- some seem to realize that this article really does not shed much light and/or is misleading and concerns over the way the media reports such things (though you also have the simplistic anti-drug stuff)..

    One comment:
    So, while the police could have simply used their powers to inconvenience the others/send a message and arrest until chem tests showed it was mephedrone, this is interesting since it could also imply that there were other drugs involved besides mephedrone, and the suspected or possible of alcohol (which is also not a controlled drug- right? though the definition under UK law is murky to me, I am not even sure UK drinking age compared to 21 here in the US lol, so since she was 20 could alcohol be considered a "controlled drug" supplied to her? Sounds/seems unlikely but again I am somewhat ignorant of UK law, so feel free to set me straight. I know speculation doesn't really help, but thought that was an interesting point from the original news piece that I had overlooked, and that indeed there was potentially one or more other drugs involved (again, unless police were simply testing the mephedrone as it is a white powder resembling a controlled drug, and they've been known to do it before.. so not necessarily a factual conclusion)
    Ah, found another article, which states that there was at least drinking alcohol involved, from what is known, and likely mephedrone use, but nothing has been proven yet from what I have found so far:

    Meow Meow Drug Kills Tragic Steph (ok, I know the title is sensational, and makes no grammatical sense either, but that is the title as posted so there ya go- maybe this mag is a tabloid (the Sun)? It does have a few basic details not in the other article but much of the same info too. I am US based, so idk.. also, the stickies for the drug news/health forum do not have the new formatting requirements for news articles I have seen referenced lately on occasion, so did the best I could, let me know if edit needed or if I should post elsewhere or delete, and perhaps it would help to sticky the news article format requirements/actually even better, to add the outline for formatting to the already very thorough guidelines given for news posts. thanks -moda-)

    TRAGIC: Steph Howard died after taking the legal drug Meow Meow.

    The 20-year-old was rushed to hospital after a night out with friends.

    Pals claim her drinks were spiked with the ecstacy-like narcotic - but a police source said: "We have evidence she voluntarily took drugs."

    Meow meow, also called "bubble", "drone" or "bounce", is the street name for crystals of mephedrone.

    It has become a worryingly popular "legal high". Dealers openly sell it as "plant food" to get around laws which would bar it being offered for human consumption.

    But it can cause a range of dangerous side-effects.

    Last November it was linked to the death of 14-year-old Gabrielle Price in Brighton.
    (edit by moda-- Feb. 19th now, and Gabi Price's death is stillbeing referenced solely in regard to mephedrone.. not the actual cause of death, of bronchopneumonia listed on her death certificate and proven by autopsy and toxicology in my understanding- argh.. Other than that though, some of this is article is not too bad in terms of misinfo; it's all relative, though, I guess one lowers their standards over time w/ such media)

    Steph fell ill in Wigan, Lancs, on Saturday night and lost her fight for life on Tuesday. Her parents, two sisters and a boyfriend are devastated.

    Steph's former teacher Rachael Coulthard said: "She was always bright and well-behaved. It's such a terrible loss."

    Police arrested and bailed a 22-year-old woman and 26-year-old man on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug.

    Legal highs are expected to be banned after a report next month.
  7. BlondieUK
    Swim ended up in Brighton and East Sussex hospital shortly after Halloween following a massive overdose of I.V heroin + mephedrone.

    Swim had experimented mixing the two in small doses and has to say it is the most incredible speedball Swim has ever tried, however on the night in question Swim had a devastating argument with his partner and intentionally overdosed while in a state of extreme depression over this and many other things.

    Swim was initially found unconscious and once admitted to hospital was sent for surgery immediately to remove pressure on his right leg which was causing the degradation of muscle tissue which in turn had caused massive kidney failure.

    Swim had five operations, at one time he had 16 blood transfusions in a single day, he went on life support twice and also had a cardiac arrest.

    Now Swim relies on a small splint built within his boot since he has no feeling or control over his right foot, and without this can barely walk.

    Swim was 21 (had his birthday in hospital - whoop.)

    Swim does not blame either drug, but feels he should make it known that 4mmc can be pretty dangerous, so be careful swimmers, be safe.
  8. Motorhead
    Thanks for sharing the experience swiBlondiUK, harm reduction is always paramount here on the forum. However the article is specifically refering to mephedrone, not drug combo's. Lets stay on topic please.
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