A schoolgirl was found unresponsive after reportedly taking an overdose of Ketamine.

Merseyside Police has issued a warning to parents following the incident on Friday, November 17. Officers were patrolling the area when they were called to the junction of Hardshaw Street and Tolver Street in St Helens, where a young girl was found unresponsive after it was reported that she had taken an overdose of Ketamine.

She was with a large group of schoolchildren, who were said to be between the ages of 12 and 13, at the back of St Helens Town Hall. A number of children ran off from the scene as police arrived.

READ MORE: 'Malign presence' Niall Barry could not hide his role as head of toxic OCG

READ MORE: Man dies after being hit by multiple cars in horror crash

The young girl was taken to hospital and has since been discharged. St Helens local policing team said a second girl, who was verbally aggressive towards officers, also showed signs of drug use.

She was taken home to her parents and safeguarding reports were submitted. Patrols remain in the St Helens area to help prevent any further incidents.

Police are urging all parents and guardians to learn more about the risks and signs of ketamine and county lines. Ketamine is a Class B drug that's used by doctors and vets as an anaesthetic to relieve pain and induce loss of consciousness. However, it's also used illegally as an hallucinogenic.

St Helens Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Stacey Pope said: “We are determined to help parents, guardians and young people understand the harmful effects of ketamine and the associated risks of being drawn into the world of county lines drug dealing.

"Last year, we organised a drama competition for local school students to create a performance that educated their peers on the risks of using ketamine. Rainhill High School’s theatre study group created the winning production 'No to Ketamine’.

“We also hosted a Q&A session, on Thursday 16 November between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. via Facebook where we were joined by partners from the local authority, health and social care and specialist support services to address the concerns about drug use and criminal exploitation among young people.

Ketamine. Generic image.
Ketamine. Generic image.

“I would urge parents and guardians to learn more about the risks, impact and signs of ketamine and County Lines, by visiting our St Helens Police Facebook page and joining future Q&A sessions. Find out how, together, we can keep our young people safe.”

If you are concerned about your own use of ketamine or other drugs or alcohol, or you are concerned about somebody else, there are support services available. For under 19s, contact the Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Team (YPDAAT) on 01744 675605 or visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/ypdaat

For adults aged 19 and over, contact Change, Grow, Live (CGL) on 01744 410752 or visit www.changegrowlive.org If you believe ketamine is being dealt in your area, please contact Merseyside Police via the social media desk on X @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also pass information via Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org

Don't miss the biggest and breaking stories by signing up to the Echo Daily newsletter here

Win the ultimate family festive break at Alton Towers Resort this Christmas