A distraught mother and father have urged teenagers to make “better and safer choices” after a New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) claimed the life of their 15-year-old daughter.
Leah Kerry was found unconscious in a park in Newton Abbot, Devon on 15 July, after taking an NPS. She was pronounced dead a short time later at Torbay District Hospital.
Her parents have now spoken out against the drugs, previously known as legal highs, which came under a blanket ban in 2016.
In a passionate anti-drugs statement, they said that Leah’s death is “the most painful experience” they have “ever had to endure”.
“It’s so shocking that a 15-year-old girl who is socialising with other 15-year-old peers is able to easily have access to a drug so strong that it could lead to her death in the way that it did.”
“Leah was well aware of the nature of different illicit substances and the risks attached.
“Sadly, despite being well aware of the risks, she thought she was invincible”, they added.
‘Paid the ultimate price’
Her parents said that Leah has “paid the ultimate price” for her drug use and urged young people on her behalf, “to not make the same mistake”.
Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont of Devon and Cornwall Police warned users about how dangerous taking an NPS is.
“People do not know what it is in them. It is a real safeguarding plea to the community, don’t touch new psychoactive substances, they are very, very dangerous”, he said.