AN 'alert' has been issued in the north east region after a suspected contaminated batch of cannabis has left two women hospitalised.
Two women, both in their early 20s, remain in the intensive care unit of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth.
The HSE Addiction Services in the north east have issued an alert to people using their services and to all voluntary and community groups.
They have been alerted to the fears a contaminated batch of hash seems to be circulating in the Cavan, Louth and Meath area.
The HSE confirmed reports had been received of "unusual side effects"
which left two women in a serious condition in intensive care.
Andrew Ogle, from the HSE's Addiction Services in the north east, warned it was "critically important" that anyone who gets into difficulty after consuming a substance immediately seek medical help.
The first woman is understood to have fallen ill on Monday night, and is not believed to have regained consciousness since. The second became ill on Wednesday morning.
Gardai searched two houses in Co Louth - including one in Drogheda.
Cannabis seized is now being tested to see if might have been mixed with some synthetic drug.
Supt Gerry Smith, from Drogheda Garda Station, said they were concerned other people using cannabis may suffer similar effects.