Young woman dies from water intoxication after taking ecstasy

Leah Betts became tragically famous in 1995. She had recently celebrated her 18th birthday and was looking forward to a bright future. But when someone offered her an ecstasy pill, Leah didn't think twice and quickly swallowed it. Ecstasy was known as the "party drug" and the young woman wanted to have some fun, so what could go wrong?

Unfortunately, this decision would prove to be the worst one that Leah had ever made...

Youtube/Bernard O'Mahoney

The drug sent Leah into a deep delirium. She was overcome by an unquenchable thirst and started drinking large amounts of water — in 90 minutes she consumed over seven quarts. The resulting water intoxication caused her to collapse and she fell into a deep coma from which she would never awake.

Only 15 days after turning 18, Leah died in the hospital.

Lafayette Cemetery

Leah's family was devastated and had difficulty coming to terms with such a senseless death that could have been so easily avoided. They decided that some good had to come from the situation and started an anti-drug campaign — Leah had died, but that didn't mean other young people had to.

The campaign featured a photo of Leah smiling with the caption, "Sorted: Just one ecstasy tablet took Leah Betts."

The message is clear: you take your life in your hands if you do drugs.

But for the Betts family, some reactions to the campaign were very unexpected. They were trying to do something good but ended up receiving threats and hate mail. Their campaign had been so successful that drug dealers were going out of business and the hateful backlash became so dangerous that the family was forced to move.

Facebook/BBC Lifestyle & Health News

Yet despite all of this, Leah's father doesn't regret making her story public — as far as he's concerned, if it saved even one life, then it was worth it.

Today, considering that ecstasy use is on the rise, campaigns like this are more important than ever. The pills are now more concentrated and much cheaper than they were in 1995, which has made the situation even more dangerous.

You can watch this video to find out more about Leah's tragic story and the positive effects the education campaign has had...

It's difficult for most of us to imagine the pain parents feel when they lose a child, especially when the death could have been easily prevented. That the Betts family chose to turn their loss into something positive deserves a lot of respect. Because sometimes it takes drastic measures to get the message across.

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