Happy pills no laughing matter

first_imgLinkedin NewsLocal NewsHappy pills no laughing matterBy admin – October 15, 2009 864 13 year-old hospitalised after taking ‘Jokers’LAWS governing the sale of hallucinogenic and other stimulants from head shops have been questioned by the mother of a young teenage girl, who was hospitalised after purchasing and consuming party pills – otherwise known as happy pills – that she was told would “make her laugh”.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up This newspaper was contacted by the mother of the 13-year-old girl who lost feeling in both her legs and collapsed before being rushed to the Regional Hospital, where she was placed on a heart monitor.Now she warns parents of the dangers of some products available for sale in head shops.The girl was twice refused in separate head shops before finally purchasing a packet of ‘Jokers’ (party pills containing a mixture of ketones, herbal extracts and glucose).After taking the pills with her friend, both felt immediately ill. One claimed to have lost feeling in her hands, while the other collapsed and had to be taken to hospital.Both parents contacted the Gardai, but were alerted that no legislation exists to prohibit the sale of these products to anyone under 18.It is alleged when they bought the pills, they enquired as to what the effects they would have, and were reportedly informed that it would make them laugh.Robert Gardiner, proprietor of the city centre head shop Dark Side, stated: “Consumption of those pills for girls of that age would have the same effect as drinking 10 cans of red bull because of the high caffeine content.“The effects would vary from person to person. However, a child consuming those pills would be a lot more at risk than a person over the age of 18”.Although it is legal for shops to sell party pills and herbal incenses to all ages, local head shop owners are adamant that they refuse to sell their products to people under 18.The parents concerned fear that children might be at risk from taking party pills.They are calling for legislation to be brought in to ban the sale of these products to people under the age of 18.A legal source informed this newspaper of the grey area which these products fall into: “There seems to be no legislative powers in place as these products do not fall under the Misuse of Drugs Act, which would make them illegal. They are not regulated by the Pharmacies Act, where a prescription would be required; however any of the tobacco products would not available for sale to anyone under 18”.Local Labour TD, Jan O’ Sullivan, who has voiced her concerns about head shops in the past, said: “We clearly have a big problem that is directly affecting younger people”.After learning of the incident involving the girl being hospitalised, Deputy O’Sullivan is to put a Parliamentary question to the Dáil this week regarding the legal grey area which exists.A Limerick doctor, who preferred not to be identified, agreed with Deputy O’Sullivan’s concerns.“I have seen similar cases in the past”, he said.Robert Gardiner said, “A child consuming these pills would be a lot more at risk than a person over the age of 18” Email WhatsApp Advertisementcenter_img Print Facebook Twitter Previous articleReported crime down in city and countyNext articleUnusual position for Munster adminlast_img read more