A headteacher today demanded action against potentially fatal legal high drugs after it emerged medics in Blackpool are treating scores of children every month.
Stephen Tierney, boss at St Mary’s Catholic College, has lifted the lid on how easy it is for children in the resort to buy the drugs after three of his pupils were taken to hospital after smoking a high called ‘Pandora’s Box’.
One of the female pupils was so poorly she was taken into intensive care.
In an exclusive interview with The Gazette, Mr Tierney revealed a student bought the drug on Facebook before it was dropped off “at the end of their street”.
An investigation by the school revealed there are at least two shops in Blackpool selling legal highs.
There is a voluntary code against selling the drug to under 18s which the shops are meant to follow.
Mr Tierney, who has called for a Fylde-wide campaign about the dangers, said: “As someone who works as a teacher, the thought there are children of school age taking these absolutely horrifies me.”
Because the substances are not illegal police are powerless to take action.
According to figures supplied by the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (NPSAD), the number of deaths from legal highs rose from 10 in 2009 to 68 in 2012.
Mr Tierney added: “The problem with the name ‘legal highs’ is that it makes it sound safe – because if they weren’t you’d ban them wouldn’t you?”