A 17-year-old boy has died after 'taking ecstasy' just days before Christmas, police said.
Merseyside Police released a warning about drugs this evening after the teenager, from Knowsley, Merseyside, died.
They said: "We are warning the public of the risks of taking illegal drugs after a 17-year-old man from Knowsley died in hospital earlier today.
"Our early enquiries have led us to believe that he may have taken a quantity of Ecstasy tablets.
"Please help us raise awareness of this issue."
In a full statement, police said the teenager was taken ill at home on Friday morning and taken to Whiston Hospital, where he died a few hours later.
Detectives are treating the man’s death as unexplained until a post-mortem examination is carried out.
Detective Inspector Matt Smith said: “We want people to think twice before they take drugs. It is not only illegal to buy or sell drugs, but taking illegal substances can also be very dangerous and potentially fatal.
"People taking any form of illegal drugs don’t know what’s in them, where they’ve come from or what effects they may have on them.
“Although we do not know the full circumstances of what has happened in this tragic case and must keep an open mind, we are sufficiently concerned to feel the need to issue a warning to anyone out there thinking of taking drugs this weekend.
"More people than normal will be out celebrating in the next week or so due to it being Christmas. They need to understand there are significant risks with any drug use, especially when it involves drugs bought off the streets from unregulated sources.
"The effects of drugs are not always immediately apparent or can be delayed. This can sometimes result in people taking more in order to speed up the effects. This can have devastating results.
“We are asking people to use their common sense, think about the risks and not to take illegal drugs as the consequences can be absolutely devastating.”
Specially-trained officers are providing support to the victim's family.
Anyone with any information about the supply of illegal drugs should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For further information about drug use and abuse call FRANK on 0300 123 600.