TEENAGERS are still ignoring the warnings about mephedrone, but parents are now aware of the issues.

That is the feeling of head teacher Jeff Bower, 50 days after The Press launched its campaign to ban the drug.

Mr Bower, who runs Woldgate College in Pocklington, first spoke out when a student at the school collapsed after taking mephedrone earlier in the year.

Since then, the school has made sure every one of its pupils knows the dangers of the drug – which is legal as long as it is sold as plant fertiliser.

Mr Bower said until the Government takes firm action to ban the drug, then young people will continue taking it.

He said: “Students in the sixth form will say it’s not happening in school, but 99.9 per cent will say that at parties and when they are on holiday it’s there.”

Mr Bower said some of the students will admit to having used it, with their reasons being that it is cheap and legal.

He said: “They are very open about it as it’s a legal substance. It’s in common use socially with the 16-plus age group. Five pounds will get you m-kat [as the drug is also known] – the same price as a packet of cigarettes.”

He said the price made the drug difficult to stamp out, but said the school had had drugs teams in and had held assemblies about the dangers of mephedrone.

He also said The Press campaign, The Menace of Mephedrone, had told parents what to look out for to ascertain whether their children were using the drug.

York GP Dr David Fair said he had seen more cases of people who had taken mephedrone recreationally since The Press began its campaign.

He said he advised patients that the side-effects of the drug are not fully known and that the drug appears to cause temporary mental illness such as paranoia.