Police investigate Bracknell mephedrone dealers
Police are to crack down on dealers of the illegal drug mephedrone after Berkshire counsellors reported a rise in the number of people seeking help over the drug.
Bracknell Forest Council says it has seen double the number of under 18s seeking help since April, compared with last year.
It issued a warning about an extra strong batch of the drug last month.
Counsellors are concerned as users can become mentally addicted to the drug.
Drug and alcohol team manager Jillian Hunt said: "One of the things with mephedrone we don't know many of the long-term effects.
"It can affect people's heart rates like cocaine can.
"There's been reports nationally and internationally that it causes vascular problems, people get blue hands, blue feet and blue legs because of blood circulation being affected.
"Damage to nasal passages is happening over a much shorter space of time than with cocaine."
Insp John Goosey, deputy local police commander for Bracknell, said Thames Valley Police were working "behind the scenes" to find out about local dealers.
Side effects of the drug also include over stimulation of the heart and nervous system - which can cause fits, extreme weight loss and mental health problems.
The drug is sometimes known as MCAT and meow meow.