Police have issued a warning about the dangers of a plant fertiliser being used by youngsters as a legal high.
Mephedrone, which has streets names including MCAT, Meow, and Mieow, Mieow, can cause a range of side-effects thought to include nose bleeds and burns, hallucinations, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety and paranoia, fits, delusions, and taking it can lead to a heart attack.
Police, Kirklees Council and Lifeline - Kirklees are all backing a poster being distributed across the Kirklees district.
Entitled "What's getting up your nose", it outlines some of the different names associated with it and underlines potential health risks involved.
Its creation follows concerns about the use of MCAT within communities.
Youngsters all over Britain are said to have ended up in casualty after experimenting with Mephedrone and at least one teenager is thought to have died as a result.
West Yorkshire Police's drugs co-ordinator Bryan Dent says it was important to give people the information they need.
He said: "MCAT is a substance which is currently legal, however; it is predominately used for plants and can have quite an adverse effect if consumed by a human.
"We know that this substance is often used by young people, particularly between the ages of 14 to 25.
"These posters are therefore designed to reach this particular generation and help them to make an informed decision."
He added: "MCAT is often referred to as a 'legal high' and gives the impression that because it's legal, it is safe.
"There are a number of substances, which are not controlled drugs or illegal which can be abused.
"We would always advise against ingesting anything into your body which is not for a bone fide medical reason.
"MCAT in particular has the potential to damage both mental and physical health."
He said police would be clamping down on anyone found selling it for human consumption.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs' (ACMD) is set to review Mephedrone, which could lead to it being made illegal.
Kirklees Councillor Peter O'Neill, cabinet member for safer communities is backing the awareness campaign.
He said educating young people was important to "dissuade young people from taking substances which, though legal, can cause damage to their mental and physical health, and even death."
December 18, 2009
Yorkshire Evening Post