Police are warning teenagers they are risking their lives if they get involved in the new social media craze ‘Paracetamol Challenge’.
The potentially fatal game, in which youngsters are encouraged to abuse over-the-counter painkillers, has already caused problems in the west of Scotland and the worry is now that it will soon reach schools in Fife.
We are working closely with schools to warn of the dangersCommunity Sergeant Kenny Greig
The challenge, which involves taking large amounts of painkillers, is being shared via social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram and has already resulted in one schoolboy in Ayrshire being taken to hospital.
Ayrshire Police were forced to issue warnings to parents when the ‘craze’ first became known in March.
As a precautionary measure, police officers in Glenrothes made visits to a number of schools in the town this week to warn of the serious health risks, such as liver and kidney failure. The abuse of such drugs could also be fatal, police have warned.
The ‘challenge’ has not become an issue in the region thus far and police are working with schools and parents to make them aware of the dangers before they happen.
“Luckily, we have not seen any instances of this irresponsible and potentially fatal involvement in over-the-counter painkiller abuse, and we are working closely with schools to warn schoolchildren and parents of the dangers,” said Glenrothes Community Sergeant Kenny Greig.
“It’s an issue of great concern and we are putting out the message to young people who may want to take on the dare to think of the potential dangers. We strongly discourage anyone from getting involved in something that has severe risks to health.”
Warning to young people over the dangers of new painkiller ‘craze’
Paracetamol is one of the most widely used drugs throughout the world, with packets retailing for as little as 25 pence.
Though the drug is deemed to be harmless, large quantities can cause serious side effects, including yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, loss of co-ordination and low blood sugar.
In extreme cases, it can cause liver and kidney failure, and painkiller abuse has been known to be fatal.
Police have used Twitter to issue warnings about the worrying craze.
Coatbridge Police tweeted “We’ve heard about the #paracetamolchallenge. DON’T get involved in this. It causes liver & kidney failure...and death”.
Police in Glenrothes say they will continue to monitor the situation.