Mum of M-Cat user warns parents to look out for signs of drug abuse
THE mother of a teenage boy who became hooked on M-Cat says it broke her heart to see how it destroyed his health and state of mind.
After a year of taking the potentially lethal drug mephedrone, the boy, now 16, became paranoid and aggressive, lost weight and was unwell.
His mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, is now warning other parents to look out for tell-tale signs of drug use and hopes a police crackdown will stop youngsters from taking M-Cat.
She said: "It's been a constant battle. My son is a lovely boy and I never dreamt he'd get involved in something like this.
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"I noticed changes in his behaviour and his teacher couldn't understand what was happening.
"It all came to a head one day in an argument and he confessed he'd been taking M-Cat for months and suffering in silence.
"I was crying and just couldn't believe it. I didn't really know anything about the drug and had to look it up on the internet."
The Hull teenager told her he'd started taking M-Cat at weekend parties after giving in to peer pressure.
He then began sneaking the drug into school, taking it in the toilets, before buying more from older teenage dealers.
His mother, 43, said: "I gave him £15 a week pocket money and it went on M-Cat. Kids buy it because it's so cheap.
"He said the comedown was absolutely horrendous, so he began taking it more often.
"I wanted my son to get his head straight, so I sent him to stay with a friend of mine in Carlisle.
"I told him, 'You either come back a man or a drug addict'."
She thought the trip was the only option to stamp out his drug habit.
It has been four months since she found out he had been taking M-Cat and she said it has been "hell".
Her son has suffered a number of panic attacks and now sees a psychiatric nurse once a week.
"He was hearing voices and became aggressive. It was like living with a domineering husband and walking on eggshells," his mother said.
But the time away seems to have had a positive effect and, not only has her son stopped using the drug, but he has started an apprenticeship in engineering.
She said: "Things are finally looking up now.
"My son was petrified he was going to lose his mind but he's seen the light and is getting his life back on track."