Police warn of mephedrone danger after woman dies
Police in North Yorkshire have issued a stark warning that mephedrone may have been a factor in the death of a 24-year-old woman in the latest incident involving the controversial party drug.
Police said the unidentified woman was found dead by a friend at an address in Norton, North Yorkshire on Monday morning.
"Detectives are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the death, however there is a suggestion that legal-high mephedrone (MCAT) may be a factor," police said in a statement.
A post-mortem will be held in the coming days.
The legal drug -- which is also known as meow meow and MCAT -- is sold online as plant food for as little as £10 a gram.
It has been linked to a spate of recent deaths -- including those of Louis Wainwright, 18, and Nicholas Smith, 19, from Scunthorpe last week -- and calls have mounted for the substance to be banned.
The government's drugs advisory council is expected to make a formal recommendation next week over whether the drug should be made illegal.
North Yorkshire Police said that despite the drug's legal status "people need to know that this substance is very dangerous" and urged anyone who has taken it to seek immediate medical advice.
"Although at this time it can not be determined whether mephedrone is present within the deceased's system or whether the drug played any part in her death, the police would like to warn people about the use of the drug and its potentially lethal consequences," said Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Costello .
Elsewhere, Humberside police are still awaiting the results of the toxicology tests for Wainwright and Smith. Both are believed to have taken mephedrone before they died.
In a separate case, a 46-year-old man from Hove was confirmed to have died as a result of mephedrone poisoning. John Sterling Smith suffered a cardiac arrest on February 7 after taking the drug, police said last week.
AFP European Edition | 2010-03-23 11:10:12