Loss: Jodie Muir, 16, is thought to have died after taking a legal high with similar effects to ecstasy

Jodie Muir, 16, is thought to have taken the drug at a house party in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, on Friday night, attended by about 50 people. She was unwell when she returned home and died several hours later, prompting a police inquiry. 

Last night, a senior officer warned of the dangers of the drug, which is rapidly  regaining popularity. However, her mother claims the teenager did not take the drug and died of heart failure as a result of Long QT syndrome, a rare heart condition that can cause fainting and arrhythmia. Jodie’s death appears to be the latest in a series of drug-related fatalities in recent months, caused by ecstasy or so-called ‘legal highs’ that replicate the effects of drugs.

These new substances are not yet controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Drugs misuse expert Professor Neil McKeganey said: ‘The growing number of deaths should be a wake-up call to the Government, just as it should be to young people in Scotland.’

Jodie is understood to have taken an ecstasy-type tablet at the party on Friday night. She returned home feeling unwell at around 5am and died several hours later.Last night, shocked school friends laid flowers at Eastbank Academy, Glasgow, where she had been a pupil. Police yesterday issued an urgent plea to speak to anyone who attended the party.A post-mortem examination has been carried out, but police said further tests were needed to establish the cause of death.

Chief Superintendent Ciorstan Shearer of Police Scotland said: ‘My sympathies are with the girl’s family. We have specially trained officers providing assistance and support to them at this sad time. ‘As it has been suggested that she may have taken some form of ecstasy-type drug, it is vital that we trace the other people who were also at the party to ensure that  they are safe and well. 

‘I would urge anyone who was at this party and has taken drugs and is feeling unwell, or knows of someone who took drugs at the party, to attend or contact their local hospital for treatment or advice.’ She added that it was ‘a very painful and upsetting time for the girl’s family and friends and Police Scotland will do all that we can to support her family’. 

Later, Chief Supt Shearer said: ‘At this time we know that there were around 40 to 50 other teenagers at this party in Rutherglen and we have managed to speak to a significant number of them.  A post-mortem examination has been carried out, but police said  further tests were needed to establish the cause of death

‘It is vital, however, that those who have not already spoken to police come forward as soon as possible, first and foremost to ensure that they are safe and well, but also because they may be in a position to provide vital information to assist the ongoing investigation.’

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde consultant in public health medicine Dr Anne Scoular said: ‘Many drugs are unregulated and no one knows what they contain or the effects they may have. People offered drugs should think very carefully before taking them. ‘I would urge anyone who has taken drugs and experiences symptoms suchas a high temperature, aggression and muscle pains or begins to feel unwell or feels a more intense high to seek immediate medical help.’


In February, clubber Regane MacColl, 17, of Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, fell ill on a night out at the Arches in Glasgow and died in hospital after taking a Mortal Kombat pill, an ecstasy-type substance. 

Helen Henderson, 19, died in April after taking a ‘meow meow’ legal high tablet during a marathon 36-hour party at her home in Renfrew. She is also believed to have swallowed horse tranquilliser ketamine before collapsing on a bed where she was found by friends.

In 1997, 13-year-old Andrew Woodcock of Bellshill, Lanarkshire, became the youngest Scot to die after taking Ecstasy.

There has been a 15-fold rise in the number of seizures of ecstasy-type drugs in the space of a year, while nine people died after consuming them in 2012 – up from none in 2010. Scottish Government figures show 157,900 seizures of individual ecstasy-type  tablets took place in 2011-12, compared with 10,000 in 2010-11. 

Drug experts at Police Scotland said ecstasy ‘gradually fell out of favour in the mid-1990s’. But in November 2010, it was noticed that it was beginning to return. Deaths linked to ‘legal highs’ could overtake those linked to heroin by 2016, according to experts on addiction.  The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) claims hospital admissions are soaring and forecasts that deaths linked to the drugs could be higher than heroin in just two years.The rise of ‘legal highs’ – or new psychoactive substances (NPS) – were linked to 97 deaths in 2012.

Hospital admissions due to legal highs rose by 56 per cent between 2009-12, according to new CSJ data. The think-tank forecasts that on current trends deaths related to the drugs could be higher than heroin by 2016 – at around 400 deaths per year. 


Ecstasy came into widespread use in the 1980s, when taking it was linked to raves and dance music. Its effects include euphoria, a sense of intimacy with others and diminished anxiety and depression.

In the U.S., more than 12 million people have taken it. But its use has been linked to damage to the central nervous system. Research in recent years has suggested that long-term changes to emotional states and behaviour have been triggered by consumption of the drug, which affects chemical receptors in the brain.

The synthetic stimulant, for example, triggers the release of dopamine, the chemical that controls the nervous system, producing a massive increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This can prove fatal.

Medical studies also report that one in four people have suffered unpleasant side-effects, such as extreme paranoia and insomnia. Campaigners believe that ecstasy poses a real risk of triggering brain damage. They have argued that it can induce memory loss, decrease cognitive performance and has long-lasting effects on behaviour.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2727724/ 18th August 2014

Filed under: Ecstasy,Health,Legal Highs :

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