When 18-year-old Su* fell naked from her bedroom window one morning, her father and brother just couldn’t understand what had happened. Admitted to intensive care at the hospital, she fell into a coma and sadly passed away two weeks later.
A stash of cannabis tucked under her laptop in her bedroom gave the first clues. The toxicology report eventually revealed the full truth – that at the time of her fall, there was methamphetamine, or 'Ice', in her body.
The fact that she was on ‘Ice’ came as a complete shock to her father. He knew she smoked cigarettes and had begged her for years to stop. But he never thought she was a drug user.
Yes, she hung out with the wrong crowd in secondary school and was hauled up several times for disciplinary matters. Yes, she had flunked her poly studies due to non-interest in the subject. But she had recently enrolled in a new course in criminology in a private school. She was just a regular teenager who has the world waiting for her to explore. She was his beloved daughter, and in his eyes, always his baby daughter. She couldn’t be taking drugs!
Now, looking back, he realised there were warning signs of drug-induced psychosis even though he hadn’t understood them at the time. In the month leading up to her death, Su had been having hallucinations and showing signs of anxiety and paranoia. She complained of hearing children's voices at night and animal sounds coming from her room. She also said that she "felt very dirty" and that something or someone was following her.
Then one night, two weeks before her fall, she knocked on her father's bedroom door warning him of a monster in his room. Concerned about her uncharacteristic behaviour, her father asked her if she was on drugs, to which she quickly denied. He thought maybe she was groggy from sleep. Of course she wasn’t taking drugs! How would she get hold of them anyway?
But Su hadn’t been “groggy from sleep”. It was a drug-induced psychotic episode which again happened on the morning she fell from her window. Investigations found that she’d been buying cannabis from a classmate while in secondary school and in the last year of her life, her drug problem escalated and she’d begun to purchase “Ice”. Her father was devastated. How could she have gained access to drugs?
"She was a very creative girl. She had so many things to look forward to. “If I’d known she was on drugs I would have reported her to CNB myself for her own good. Our lives were going so smoothly. I don't know why this had to happen."
*Names have been changed.