Criminal gangs are selling a new and potentially fatal type of ecstasy drug to teenagers from a park in St Helens, it is feared.
A worried dad has told the Reporter how he discovered evidence his 15-year-old daughter and her friends were taking tablets containing PMA.
We know that these tablets have appeared in Leyland and surrounding areas so I am also asking the public to remain vigilant and to report or hand in any of these types of tablets to the police so they can be properly examinedSgt Mark Douglas
And his concerns echo a warning issued by police in neighbouring Lancashire about two teenage lads who feel ill after taking blue and yellow coloured tesla pills they believed to be ecstasy.
The man, who wished not to be named, began to research pills, which he says are shaped and coloured like a gold bar, after he noticed a dramatic swings in his daughter’s behaviour.
He found reference to the drug after looking at his daughter’s Facebook page and phone and believes she and a group of friends have been buying it in the Fosters Park (formerly called Hardshaw Park) area near Railway Street in Hardshaw.
But he believes the tablets could contain PMA, a substance that has a similar effect to MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy, but is more poisonous and can kill at lower doses.
He said: “My daughter has started staying out all night and coming in looking an absolute mess before sleeping all day.
“I started to get suspicious and checked my daughter’s Facebook page and phone and there were references to this drug. I did some research on the internet and believe that it is being sold as ecstasy but contains PMA, a far more dangerous substance. It has been known to cause erratic behaviour and people have died after taking it.”
I am very concerned, especially with it being the summer holidays, that bored kids have easy access to this.”
The dad’s warning comes just days after Lancashire Police published a warning after two separate incidents where 14-year-old boys fell ill as a result of taking blue and yellow coloured tesla pills they believed to be ecstasy.
The first boy started behaving out of character and was arrested for causing criminal damage to several cars and drugs offences and the other collapsed and was taken to hospital on Thursday after taking the pills.
Officers carried out a number of raids last week on addresses in Buckshaw Village and seized a quantity of pills and cannabis.
Sgt Mark Douglas of Leyland Police said: “I would urge anyone to refrain from taking these pills or indeed any sort of drug because the message is clear – they are illegal, you don’t know what you’re taking and the risk you are putting on your health could be fatal.
“We know that these tablets have appeared in Leyland and surrounding areas so I am also asking the public to remain vigilant and to report or hand in any of these types of tablets to the police so they can be properly examined.
“Lastly, I am appealing to parents to speak to their children about the dangers of these tablets and drugs in general in the hope it will act as a deterrent before people take them and become seriously ill.”
Merseyside Police were unable to comment on the dad’s concerns.