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Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Legal Highs

Two young people have died in Monaghan after taking 'legal highs'

There was “huge outcry” over the issue, a local community worker said.

TWO YOUNG PEOPLE died in the space of 12 months in Monaghan due to the use of synthetic cannabinoids, Oireachtas members were told today.

At a joint meeting of the Oireachtas committees on health and justice, Packie Kelly, a project coordinator at the Teach na Daoine resource centre in Monaghan told members of the scale of the use of ‘legal highs’.

He said that the town had “lost two people in 12 months as direct result of synthetic cannabinoids”.

He said that after the deaths, there had been a number of public meetings and a “huge outcry” in Monaghan.

Kelly said that children “as young as 13″ were using legal highs in the area, with “the oldest user in their early 40s”. “Unfortunately it’s freely available,” said Kelly, describing how one type of product comes in bright packaging and is called “joker” or “juicy fruit”.

He said that while using synthetic cannabinoids, there have been instances of “people behaving in an extremely psychotic way – they may not have a psychotic diagnosis”.

Kelly said the drug is “the number one drug of choice in Monaghan”.

Also at the committee, Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin spoke about how the issue is being monitored in Ireland. He is looking after the country’s Drugs Strategy.

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