Friday 15 December 2017

'Teddy Tablets' are designed to appeal to youngsters, says mum of boy (16) who died after taking ecstasy

The teenagers took so-called
The teenagers took so-called "Teddy Tablets" in Salford on Saturday

Lauren Brown

A mother whose son died after taking ecstasy has said drugs are being designed to appeal to children after three 12-year-old girls were rushed to hospital after taking "Teddy Tablets".

Fiona Spargo-Mabbs, whose son Daniel, 16, died after taking MDMA at an illegal rave in London in 2014, said children need more awareness on drugs.

On Saturday evening, the three girls were rushed to hospital in a serious condition after taking the drug in Salford, Greater Manchester.

They are now in a stable condition but Mrs Spargo-Mabbs, from Croydon, said that conversations about drugs needed to be kept "open and frank".

She said: "It's just so awful, they are just so young. I know what it's like being in the hospital, the awfulness of not knowing. I'm so relieved that hopefully they are going to be okay."

Daniel died of multiple organ failure three days after taking MDMA, or ecstasy, when he went to a rave in Hayes, west London. He was among five friends who had clubbed together £80 to buy the class A drug before the party.

Following his death Mrs Spargo-Mabbs and her husband Tim set up the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation to make youngsters aware of the dangers of drug abuse and take their drug awareness programmes into schools.

She added: "For most young people, even if they know it is ecstasy, they are not going to understand what that means. They look like sweets and are designed to appeal to kids, there has been ones shaped like Lego bricks, ones called Rockstar. They are designed to appeal to young people."

She warned that young people were using ecstasy more because of its availability and cost, but stressed that the drugs were "much stronger".

"It's just ecstasy in a different form but it has all the same risks. They have no kind of awareness how strong it is. A 12-year-old's body is really small and not able to cope."

She added that parents needed to keep conversations about drugs "open and frank" and said youngsters needed to be armed with life skills to be able to navigate peer pressure.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of being in possession of drugs and were being held for questioning.

The force continues to warn people to stay away from the party drug - which has already led to the death of a 22-year-old woman in recent weeks and a 17-year-old girl a few months ago.

Anyone in possession of illegal substances is urged to hand them in to police, chemists or medical practitioners.

For help or advice on all drugs, contact the Talk to Frank service on 0800 777 6600 or at www.talktofrank.com

Press Association

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