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Sorry pictures of drugs craze; Videos are disturbing.

Byline: DAN WARBURTON

A LETHAL drug available in shops across the North East has become the centre of an internet video craze.

Footage of people high on mephedrone, a dangerous hallucinogen available on the streets of Tyneside for as little as pounds 2 a hit, has appeared in a string of online video clips.

Nicknamed miaow miaow, drone or bubbles, the substance has already been linked to at least five deaths and can cause terrifying experiences, nausea, extreme disorientation and vomiting. But more calls were today made for the drug to be banned after one video was viewed more than 100,000 times.

In the short film, which is entitled "3,000mg Methedrone" and was posted online from an internet user based in Newcastle, a youth is seen under the influence of the toxic substance.

REVEALED: yesterday Wild-eyed and bare-chested, the youth drapes his arms over a baseball bat resting on his shoulders and dances in a trance to Acid House music.

Intensely staring down the barrel of the camera, he swaggers around the room before the camera turns to another man, who chants, "psych, psych, psych", before the film ends.

One observer, whose operates under the online name of hayleygirl85, wrote: "I'm not a regular user of drugs but I know that if you can't handle it you shouldn't do it. I recommend you guys don't do it."

The video, which was posted on YouTube but circulated to other websites including OldSkoolbeats.

com, has prompted more calls for the drug to be outlawed and a review of drug classifications.

Ourstory Siobourn Lannen, of the Tyneside-based SMART team, which works with the NHS to promote drugs awareness, said: "Cannabis is an illegal drug and sex under the age 16 is illegal, so it's a difficult issue, but what is really needed is for a reclassification of these drugs.

"That would make it very clear to parents and carers exactly what the consequences of taking these drugs are."

Yesterday the Chronicle revealed that mephedrone is available on the streets of Tyneside at pocket-money prices.

The mind-bending substance, responsible for the deaths of two teenagers pals is legally on sale for as little as pounds 2 a fix.

Louis Wainwright and Nicholas Smith died in Scunthorpe on Monday after taking mephedrone during a night out.

Believed to be more addictive than Ecstasy, the toxic hallucinogen is sold as a commercial plant growth product and available on shelves in at least four Newcastle shops.

Chronicle investigators obtained one gram of the lethal substance for just pounds 15 after touring Tyneside shops for under two hours.

One city centre store was selling a bag of mephedrone pills for just pounds 6, with the shop's assistant insisting that it was a plant growth product.

Health chiefs claim the number of North East teenagers abusing the legal high is rocketing and today a leading North East pharmacologist claimed more deaths were inevitable if the drug was not banned.

Newcastle University senior lecturer Dr Mohameed Shoaib said: "Some of these compounds are very dangerous and this substance should be made illegal."

CAPTION(S):

REVEALED: Our story yesterday TRAGIC: Nicholas Smith TRAGIC: Louis Wainwright HIGH: A still from the clip on YouTube, entitled 3,000mg Methedrone
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2010
Words:538
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Next Article:More calls to ban 'miaow miaow'.

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