Young people in Richmondshire have been been hospitalised after taking illegal ecstasy which experts say is far stronger than normal.
A warning has gone out following a spate of incidents linked to so-called Tesla pills, which have caused at least one death elsewhere in the country in recent months.
The pills are orange in colour and contain high levels of MDMA.
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The authorities are so concerned about the problem that a meeting took place this week between local police, secondary school headteachers and council officials.
A letter has gone out today to parents of all students studying at Richmondshire’s four secondary schools – Richmond, Risedale, St Francis of Xavier and Wensleydale – as well as Bedale High School and the Pupil Referral Service in Northallerton.
The letter advises that the schools will take robust action schools against any student
involved in taking or supplying tablets.
It adds: “Parents are also urged to share any information they have regarding drug use with the police and school.
“Where schools receive intelligence about drug use and those involved, we will pass that information to the police.”
The letter is accompanied by an information sheet from Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of public health at North Yorkshire County Council.
This states that a number of young people in the area have been hospitalised after taking the drug recently.
It adds: “Parents/carers are asked to be alert to this issue, particularly any mention of ‘Orange Tesla’ tablets as these are being used in the area currently.
“If you suspect a child or young person has become ill as a result of consuming ecstasy you
should seek immediate medical attention.”
It advises that more information on the drugs is available at www.talktofrank.com.
In November, a teenager in Bristol collapsed and died after it is thought he had taken the drug.
Drake Morgan-Baines, 19, slipped into cardiac arrest after suffering from a brain seizure. His heart rate reached 180bpm – more than twice the normal resting rate – before his death
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