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Advice and Support for Children and Families Affected by ‘THC’ Vapes or Other Drugs

We have received information from the Metropolitan Police, about a number of young people, from across London, who have been hospitalised due to serious health harms caused by the use of vapes containing the drug Spice and Cannabis. 

It is not clear how these young people obtained these Vapes, though it has been widely reported that they are advertised on social media sites, including Snapchat, Instagram and Telegram.  

In a recent case where several young people were hospitalised the substance ingested was thought to be THC, the active component of cannabis. It is understood that the young people believed they were using THC vape oil, but when samples were later tested, it was found to be the synthetic cannabinoid commonly known as Spice, the effects of which can be very unpleasant or dangerous. In this case the young people became unwell and several required hospital treatment, with one admitted in a critical condition.    

THC and Synthetic cannabinoids in vapes:  

Vaping THC is a relatively new and is increasing in prevalence amongst young people under the age of 18. However, it often is not THC that you find inside these products, but instead Synthetic Cannabinoids referred to as ‘Spice’. These vapes are colourful, with different flavours and use recognisable brands and logos to target young people. Police intelligence suggests that BLUE and GREEN vape juice could be THC, while RED and ORANGE is likely to be Spice. 

They are also less detectable and easier to use than smoking, increasing the appeal to young people. The liquid may also be stored in small plastic bottles that look like eye drops or decongestant sprays making it harder to detect.    

Risks of using ‘THC’ Vapes  

1. Unable to measure the dose or know the strength – presents a higher risk of overdosing.  

2. Leave users in an incapacitated vulnerable state where assaults/theft can occur.  

3. Users can experience episodes of Anxiety/Paranoia.  

4. Dependency – if not THC but Spice which is a very physically addictive substance with severe withdrawal effects.  

5. Seizures – many young people have been hospitalised.  

6. Death – there have been reported cases of deaths related to the use of mis-sold ‘THC’ that actually contains Spice.  

 In light of these incidents, we urge you to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to ensure the safety of your child.  

Support for Children and Families affected by ‘THC’ vapes or other drugs: 

Support is available for anyone affected by substances. This can be brief advice through to structured interventions that aim to support an individual through their dependency and into recovery. 


1. Children and Young People’s Services in Lewisham 

0208 690 3020 


2. Adult treatment and support services in Lewisham 

0208 314 5566 


3. Further information and advice can be found at