Leah Betts is one of the most famous of the ecstasy
casualties in the mid 90s in Britain (alongside the tragic Danny Ashton
). Her death was used as an example as to what can happen when it goes wrong. Pictures were put on billboards of her in hospital
with tubes coming out of her mouth.
The media went completely overboard, with their holier than thou attitudes towards the "evils of drugs". A huge propaganda war on drugs was launched, the motto: "Sorted just one Ecstasy tablet killed Leah Betts". Her father, an ex drugs officer, said that the dealer who gave her the drug should be tried for murder.
It was later revealed that Leah had drank too much water (over 3 litres), over compensating for her dancing, this 'water intoxication' caused her eventual death and not the drug itself. Of course, had she not been taking the drug she wouldn't have been so paranoid about water consumption and she wouldn't have drank so much water.
In the end she may not have been the example that the press wanted as to why ecstacy is directly dangerous, but she did give us one important message that is often ignored - dancing with a broken hypothalamus is a bad idea.
Leah died November 16 1995.