Call to shut outlets selling synthetic legal drugs after student collapses

THE GOVERNMENT has been urged to shut head shops after a student collapsed on Monday after ingesting a substance widely available from such outlets.

The call came from a meeting attended by parents, teachers, gardaí, HSE officials and members of the board of management in Causeway Comprehensive School, Co Kerry.

It was decided to send a letter to various Government departments calling for the closing of head shops which sell synthesised legal drugs which recreational users are substituting for cocaine.

School principal Lucille O’Sullivan said parents should be aware of the dangers of people buying substances from head shops. “We’re asking for the closure of these shops. Something should be done to close the loophole in the legislation,” she said.

In the face of countrywide concern about the problem, Health Minister, Mary Harney has pledged to bring forward to June legislation to outlaw legal drugs sold by head shops.

Ambulance personnel and gardaí were called to the school, which has well over 500 students and a large catchment area in north Kerry, after the boy collapsed during the morning break.

He was treated at Kerry General Hospital, in Tralee, and discharged later that day.

Ms O’Sullivan said the incident should be a warning to all parents about head shops, even if the substances they sold were legal. A letter has been circulated by the school to all parents regarding the incident.

School management and staff have met since the incident and a number of measures have been put in place. Gardaí are to address pupils on the dangers of the substances.


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