Pictures of two teenagers whose lives were devastated by ecstasy have reinforced the need for lessons to be learnt about the killer drug.
In 1995, the death of 18-year-old Leah Betts shocked the country after her parents shared images of her on life support to warn against the drug.
Leah, from Latchingdon in Essex, took a single ecstasy pill at her 18th birthday party. She died after four days in hospital.
Tests revealed that the cause of death was water intoxication. The teenager had consumed more than three litres of water over a short period, due to the effects of the drug.
Her father and step-mother began a passionate anti-drugs campaign in the media after her death.
At her inquest, Coroner Dr Malcolm Weir said of the campaign: “If it prevents one more fatality, Leah Betts’s death will not have been in vain.”
’Don’t take them’
But more than two decades on, another mother has shared images of her 16-year-old daughter – also called Leah – who was hospitalised by ecstasy.
Thankfully, Kerry Robinson’s daughter recovered after taking the substance on Boxing Day. But only after she was put into an induced coma.
Alongside the image that was shared, the mother wrote: “This is what ecstasy does – please don’t take them.”
Dangerous side effects
Explaining her decision to share a picture of Leah, wired up to a machine, Kerry said: “I put the picture up so no other kids would think of taking these tablets again.”
Ecstasy can cause anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, paranoia and even psychosis.
Because it is a synthetic drug, there is also a high chance that it will be mixed with other lethal substances.