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May 27, 2009
Teenage girl dies after taking anti-depressants
Rosa-Marie, who was about to start a drama college course, had already smoked cannabis before taking the pills, which were prescribed to her ex-boyfriend Alex Malakooti, 23.
She woke up in the early hours of the morning fitting and foaming from the mouth in what pathologist Dr Hugh White described as serotonin syndrome at an inquest into her death on Tuesday.
Serotonin, a chemical which occurs naturally in the brain, is taken in pill form to counter depression. Rosa-Marie had 14 millilitres of the chemical per litre of blood. The highest recommended dose is four.
Her mother, Eileen Huxley-Duggan, 43, was serving a four-year prison sentence for possession of drugs with intent to supply when Rosa-Marie took the pills, known as imipramine and moclobemide. Her friend Amy Graham, who lived at the flat, said that Rosa-Marie had taken ecstasy, speed and cocaine in the past. “She said she wanted to get wrecked because she was depressed but she was looking forward to her mum coming out of prison,” Miss Graham said in a statement at Flax Bourton Coroners Court. “She tried to get ecstasy but couldn’t and then went to see Alex downstairs for a cigarette. “She came back with three pink and two white pills. “I told her not to take them but she said she had done it before and then she put them all in her mouth and took a drink of Stella.” Rosa died a few hours later at Weston General Hospital. Mrs Huxley-Duggan, who started delivering drugs to clear her own £2,000 drug debt, was allowed to leave prison to be at her hospital bedside. After deputy coroner Tony Woodburn recorded a verdict of death by misadventure, she said her own daughter’s death from drugs had been heartbreaking. “People have said to me that because of my drug habit it was understandable that Rosa-Marie got into it, but I have three other children and they haven’t,” she said. But she said she had learned from her mistakes and was rebuilding her life. “If anything has to be learned from this it is not to take other people’s prescription tablets, and not to give them out,” she said. “Everyone is aware of illegal drugs but they are not aware of the risks of prescription drugs, which can be just as dangerous. “What happened to Rosa is nothing short of a most inconceivable tragic accident, one that could so easily happen to anybody. “Any unused medications that are laying around should be taken back to the pharmacist for safe disposal. “Rosa was bright, wilful and full of life and I have no regrets on how we lived our time together as I have so many wonderful memories.”