The man in charge of Stockton’s accident and emergency services warns young people to steer clear of drugs.
Andy Simpson who, as well as being a consultant in emergency care medicine, heads up the accident and emergency department at the University Hospital of North Tees said: “We’ve seen a worrying number of young people between the ages of 12 and 16 in the department in the last few days suffering from the effects of taking recreational drugs.
“The main drugs young people coming in tell us they’ve taken in varying amounts are gabapentin, amitriptyline, diazepam and cocaine. While these are prescription drugs they are drugs of abuse in the wrong hands and one is Class A drug. The drugs are also very likely to have mixed with other harmful substances.
“These drugs can lead to serious breathing difficulties and can lead to people needing to be ventilated. As an A and E doctor I have also seen deaths from young people taking amitriptyline.
“While taking these drugs can be seen as a bit of fun, it is definitely not that in my view.
“We are appealing to younger people, please do not take these drugs. They can make you seriously ill or even kill you. It’s just not worth taking the risk.”