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Two 19-year-olds remain in hospital after taking 'Spice'

A joint statement has been released by Lancashire Constabulary, Lancaster University, Lancashire NHS North Clinical Commissioning Group, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council:

Five Lancaster University students who were taken to hospital after taking what appears to be a new psychoactive substance, sometimes unhelpfully referred to as ‘legal highs’, are recovering.

Police were called at about 6.30pm on Wednesday May 20th following reports the students, all men aged 19, had suffered adverse effects after taking the substance, which appears to have been a synthetic cannabis substitute.

Three of the men were discharged from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary last night and two remain in hospital for observations but their condition is stable.

While full forensic tests will now be carried out to try to establish exactly what the substance was, at this stage we cannot confirm whether any criminal offences which have been committed. Many chemicals found in synthetic cannabinoids are illegal and there is no way to know what these drugs contain when purchased, or how dangerous they can be.

– Joint statement

“All our enquiries lead us to believe that this was an isolated incident confined to these five individuals and that no others are involved or have been affected.

“Thankfully these young men do not appear to have suffered any long-lasting effects but they were very ill and the outcome could have been very different. Our advice on new psychoactive substance remains that people should not take them as they will simply have no idea what they could contain.”

– Supt Peter Lawson

For further information or advice about new psychoactive substances, including ‘legal highs’, please go to the following website:

Fact File: What is synthetic cannabis?

Lancaster University has issued a warning about taking synthetic cannabis after five students ended up in hospital.

Synthetic cannabis, know as Spice, is among a number of "legal" highs made illegal in 2009.

Synthetic cannabis known as Spice is now a banned substance Credit: Press Association

Smoking spice gives the user a similar experience to smoking cannabis and can lead to feelings of relaxation or euphoria.

According to Frank, the drug advice service other less pleasant effects may include an elevated heart rate, sickness and hallucinations.

Synthetic cannabinoids were classified alongside cannabis as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

For more information visit


Lancaster University statement after students hospitalised

Shortly after 6.30pm yesterday evening police were called to campus following reports that five students had been admitted into Royal Lancaster Infirmary after taking an unknown substance.

The University issued a warning to students. Due to the serious conditions of the students and the fact the substance could not be confirmed as legal, officers attended the university to carry out a search of the students’ rooms.

Two of the students remain in hospital, and three students have since been discharged.

Enquiries are on-going to identify the exact nature of the substance.

– Lancaster university


Lancaster hospital ward closes after norovirus outbreak

A hospital ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary has been closed to admissions after a norovirus outbreak.

The hospital said some patients on Ward 32 were suffering with diarrhoea and vomiting as a result.

Royal Lancaster Infirmary Credit: Press Association

“Diarrhoea and vomiting can be spread through contact with an infected person, by contact with contaminated surfaces or by consuming contaminated food or water.

“We hope by taking the measure to close the ward to admissions we can resolve this outbreak quickly – however we apologise for any disruptions caused to patients or visitors during this time.”

– Angela Richards, Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Search to resume for missing windsurfer

A huge search operation will resume this morning for a windsurfer who disappeared near Lancaster.

Police were called to Glasson dock yesterday afternoon to reports a man in his 50's had gone out with a group of friends but not returned. A number of lifeboats searched in foggy conditions until around 2am this morning.

Glasson Dock

The lifeboat, mountain rescue and a police helicopter will carry on the search from 8am this morning.

Concerns grow for missing teenager Aimee

Aimee Challenger, 15, is missing from home. Credit: Lancashire Police.

Concerns are growing for a 15-year-old girl missing from home in Lancaster.

Aimee Challenger was last seen by a relative on Saturday at home on Victoria Place.

She has left the house to see friends and has not been seen or heard from since.

It is believed that she could be in the Blackpool area.

“We are very concerned about the welfare of Aimee and urge her, or anyone who has seen her to contact us as soon as possible.”

– PC Michelle Flood, Lancashire Police

Aimee is described as white, 5ft 5ins, slim build with shoulder length dark brown hair.

She was last seen wearing a white vest, black leggings, black pumps, a black leather jacket and a brown satchel.

Anybody with any information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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