1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.

Death of Hastings student linked to deadly cough mixture craze

By Terrapinzflyer, Oct 14, 2010 | Updated: Oct 14, 2010 | | |
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Police fear revellers are mixing cough medicines with illegal drugs as part of a deadly new craze.

    Officers yesterday warned the public to avoid the combination after an 18-year-old student from Hastings died after taking over-the-counter medication and the Class A drug MDMA.

    A post mortem has revealed Kate McLaughlin, who had just finished her A-levels at Bexhill College and was preparing to go to university, was killed by the mixture.

    Last night her mother, Pauleen McLaughlin, appealed for anyone who knew how her daughter had taken the substances to contact herself or Sussex Police.

    Two people have been arrested and questioned by police on suspicion of supplying the drugs involved in the death.

    Both have been released on bail while officers carry out further inquiries.

    13th October 2010
    Naomi Loomes


    COMMENT:I am ~assuming~ they a referring to a dxm / Dextromethorphan containing cough syrup- which is never an advisable drug to mix with MDMA. If anyone can find more details on this it would be appreciated.


  1. chaos69
    As sad as it is to lose anyone to a drug overdose/interaction, it shits me that they try to pin it on the person they bought it off. When swiC's brother died of an OD the cops tried to get swiC to tell them who he got it off which swiC did not. People make their own decisions and if they didn't get it off them they'd get it off someone else. It felt like they were taking advantage of his death for their own gain.

    Sorry to get a bit side tracked their, this may not even be what the mother/cops are after.
  2. deadhead89
    I knew this girl, its a shame that kids with no knowledge go taking dxm
  3. deadhead89
    sorry my mistake, thought it said dxm
  4. chaos69
    ^It doesn't say DXM but I think its fair to assume it was DXM. As swiTerrapinzflyer said DXM and MDMA is known to be dangerous.
  5. Alfa
  6. Euthanatos93420
    idk but it doesn't have too. DXM & MDMA is a recipie for Seratonin Toxicity. Swim plays with fire using DXM+5htp and does so very carefully but even this is beyond the realm of plausible experimentation regardless of how controlled the setting is.

    Even moreso now. =P
  7. mickey_bee
    It's definetly not a 'new craze' as the article is trying to suggest.

    It was just a bad combination of drugs taken by a teenager wanting to have fun, there is absolutely no evidence that this specific mixture is some new fad in the UK.

    Added to that is the fact that in the UK cough medicine/DXM is pretty unheard of, even amongst the 'right' circles. The vast, vast majority of drug users in the UK wouldn't have heard of DXM or using cough medicine to get high. This may well mean that those who do use it are in a less knowledgeable position than those in the US, where it's a popular drug, meaning a higher risk.
  8. Phenoxide
    DXM-only products are quite rare in the UK, so it's quite possible that there were other chemicals involved. It's even possible that the syrup consumed contained no DXM at all. I'd have to agree that DXM + MDMA is a high risk combination though, and could quite easily result in serotonin toxicity and death.
  9. Euthanatos93420
  10. mickey_bee

    In fact, swim forgot to mention, in the UK when cough medicine is mentioned in regards to recreational drug use, the vast majority of people will assume you're talking about opiate-containing products.
  11. Euthanatos93420
    that makes less sense pharmacologically speaking. Seratonin Toxicity can kill at not so absurd levels but I just don't see it happening with opiates and mdma unless excessive quantities were taken such that other factors would present complications well before this.
  12. jon-q
    Hastings teen died after taking cocktail of Ecstasy and cough medicine

    A teenager died after taking a cocktail of drugs and cough mixture and becoming trapped behind her bed.

    Kate McLaughlin was found in her room pinned between her bunk bed and a chest of drawers.

    But an inquest was told her family will never know what happened in the final hours of her life.

    The 18-year-old Bexhill College pupil was found slumped in her bedroom at about 1.30am on August 1 last year at the family home in Churchill Avenue, Hastings.

    An inquest was told that Kate had almost 20 times the usual dosage of cough syrup in her body which, combined with Ecstasy, led to her death.

    A post-mortem examination revealed that she had suffocated because of the position she had been lying in. The drugs she had taken meant she was unable to free herself from behind the bed.

    Pathologist Dr Ian Hawley was not able to give a time for her death but said it was likely to be hours before she was found.

    After the death, police said they were concerned teenagers were mixing cough medicines with illegal drugs as part of a deadly new craze.

    The last time anyone heard from Kate, who was hoping to become a forensic scientist, was at 6pm on July 30 when she sent an internet message to a friend.

    She had spent the previous night at a house party with friends in Edward Road, Hastings, after going to a gig where she took Ecstasy.

    The inquest was told there were rumours that the 18-year-old had gone to a party in Bexhill in the hours before she died.

    Friends suggested she had left after complaining of heart palpitations but it is not known how she would have travelled the seven miles back to her home.

    It is also not clear how Kate had got the Ecstasy or the cough syrup that she had taken.

    The inquest was told that internet messages between two of Kate’s friends hours after her body was found discussed her drug taking.

    One friend, writing under the name I Love My Girl, wrote: “I was the one that gave it to her.

    “The dose I gave her it was tiny compared to us and the effects wore off by Saturday morning.

    “I even went to work after.”

    An investigation failed to reveal who the friend was.

    Pauleen McLaughlin said her daughter had only begun experimenting with drugs in the months before her death.

    She had told her mother a few weeks before her death that she had tried Speed after sleeping for 20 hours after a night out.

    East Sussex Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict that the teenager died after non-dependent abuse of drugs

    Neil Vowles
    The Argus 8th July 2011
  13. jon-q
    Ecstasy and cough bottle cocktail killed teenage girl

    A LETHAL new craze for mixing ecstasy with cough medicine claimed the life of a promising A-level student, an inquest heard yesterday.

    Kate McLaughlin’s parents have now warned other teenagers not to experiment with the deadly mixture, telling them: “She thought she knew all the risks, but she didn’t. She paid for that mistake with her life.”

    The 18-year-old was found dead the morning after a late-night party last August.

    Kate, who died of asphyxia, had 20 times the safe level of dextromethorphan – a cough bottle ingredient – in her body. It produces a high but can also cause confusion, excitability and breathing problems.

    Her step-father Neville Houghton, 46, said: “Kate was by the side of her bed. It looked like she was stretching for a cuddly toy.”

    Kate’s best friend Abbey Brockhurst, 19, told the hearing Kate took the drug two nights in a row before dying. She added: “She had taken drugs and complained of heart palpitations.”

    Speaking after the hearing, Kate’s mum Pauleen, 47, of Hastings, East Sussex, called it disgusting that two people questioned on suspicion of supplying the drugs were released. She said: “Kate was a girl who fell in with the wrong circle of people.

    “I am disgusted the so-called friends who gave her the drugs have not come forward. It hurts me not to know the full facts.

    “She was always honest – she told me she was experimenting with drugs two weeks before she died. Kate was the light of our lives but now she is gone for ever.”

    Verdict: Death by drug abuse.

    Daily Mirror 8th July 2011
  14. Wanderer
    This is a very bad thing. Dextromethorphan and serotinergics (SSRI's, Ecstasy, MAOI's) should never be combined, this is an absolute recipe for disaster. Whoever the bright spark who thought this up can be chalked up to not having a proper education in safety and harm reduction.

    However, this will likely result in hasty calls to begin pulling otherwise safe medications off the shelves and pushing their effects, interactions, and proper use further away from public view which results in these becoming more lethal due to the lack of awareness regarding some drug combinations.

    People should know what they put in their bodies and the consequences of potentially deadly combinations like acetaminophen and alcohol becoming very hepatoxic.

    Education, and health awareness is the key to the key to the well being of everyone. People should learn about what the potential effects and interactions of what goes into their bodies. This benefits everyone by keeping society healthy and mindful of what they put into their bodies. You only get one chance and one should have the whole owner's manual, rather than "hey this dude told me you could get really fucked up if you mix this with that and some of this over here too..."

    Be safe, be well...
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!