Teens Hospitalised After Using Contaminated Vapes

Several teenagers required hospital treatment after using vapes believed to be contaminated with dangerous Class B drugs in the Lancaster area recently.

The vapes were used by students at schools and colleges in Lancaster and Morecambe. A number of concerning vaping incidents led to hospitalisations over recent weeks.

The contaminated vapes could contain illegal amphetamine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which are categorized as Class B drugs in the UK.

This prompted a general warning about the significant health dangers of using unregulated vapes, especially those containing controlled substances like amphetamines and THC. An investigation is underway into the source and distribution of the contaminated vapes, but no arrests have been made yet.

There are worries that vapes illegally containing controlled drugs are being sold to those under the legal age of 18 via social media. The contaminated vapes are then being brought onto school and college premises and used by students.

As well as potentially serious health risks, using and supplying illegal drugs could be a criminal offence. Advice was given about sharing information between schools and the police to try to tackle this worrying issue.

A call was made for increased vigilance about the significant health dangers of vaping unknown substances obtained from unofficial sources. Vaping contaminated e-liquids can cause immediate illness, unconsciousness and even be life-threatening.

The vaping incidents come amid broader concern nationwide about the health impacts of e-cigarettes, especially for teenagers whose bodies and brains are still developing. There are worries about the appeal of vaping to young people and introduction of controlled substances into e-cigarettes.

Part of the appeal seems to be the variety of e-liquid flavours available in vaping devices. While vapes are often marketed as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes, they carry their own risks, particularly when unregulated liquids containing drugs are used. More research is needed, but some studies have found links between teen vaping and respiratory issues as well as exposure to carcinogenic compounds in some e-liquids.

The advice from health authorities is for parents to be alert for any signs of illegal vape use by their teenage children. Parents are advised to warn children about the serious risks to health and the dangerous unpredictability of using controlled substances, whether in vapes, cigarettes or any other form.

Schools need to continue education about the risks while ensuring their policies deter students from possessing vapes or drugs on school grounds. Tougher enforcement of age restrictions on the purchase of vaping products could also help keep controlled substances out of the hands of those under 18.

Anyone with useful information about the source of the contaminated vapes in Lancaster is strongly encouraged to come forward to assist the ongoing police investigation. Getting to the root of this problem will help prevent similar incidents endangering other young people in the community.

The incident is a timely reminder that vigilance is required from parents, schools, authorities and society as a whole to protect youth from new avenues of harm. Vaping may provide adults a less risky alternative to smoking, but unregulated vaping poses an insidious risk to teenagers seeking an exciting buzz or an illicit thrill from new technology.

Photo Credit: “Vapes” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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