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Shot of the Day: Don’t Use My Drug-Related Death to Promote Prohibition

This powerful message against drug hysteria still resonates 20 years later.

4 Substance

Transform, the UK-based drug policy reform organization, produced these cards following the outcry over the 1995 death of Leah Betts, a middle-class British teenager. She died after taking ecstasy and drinking around seven liters of water in a 90-minute period. She then became the subject of a large-scale anti-drugs poster campaign, “Sorted: Just one ecstasy tablet took Leah Betts.”

The campaign, which failed to mention the role of water intoxication in her death, was used by many to argue for tough-on-drugs policies. These cards, the idea of a Transform volunteer, were intended to resemble organ donor cards and to promote a more realistic view of drugs to counteract the hysteria.