Boy, 13, died after three ecstasy pills

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The Independent Online
BRITAIN'S YOUNGEST known ecstasy victim is Andrew Woodlock, 13, who died last year after being given the pills by a boy his own age.

His mother, Phyllis, of New Stevenston, Lanarkshire, said yesterday that she never thought Andrew would take drugs.

She had warned him that just because his friends had been all right after taking ecstasy, it did not mean that he would be. "He wasn't any different from any other teenager and I think that's the point you have to get across, that it can happen to a typical teenager," she said.

At the age of 12, Andrew had written a poem describing drugs as "A disease in our head/A thing of stupidness." But a year later, after taking one ecstasy tablet he began hitting his head against a fence.

Andrew took two more tablets the following day and his mother found him clawing at his face and hair. He was violently sick and had an insatiable thirst. Later he collapsed in a coma.

Ms Woodlock said: "It was a total shock ... You feel totally helpless for the first time in your life." Andrew never recovered and after five days his life-support machine was switched off.

Another 13-year-old, Allan Harper, was found dead of a heroin overdose in Cranhill, Glasgow, last January. His death galvanised a fightback led by Mothers Against Drugs, a group formed on an estate plagued by dealers.

The boy's body was discovered in a sleeping bag in the living room of his mother's boyfriend's flat. It is thought that he died in his sleep. His shoulder had been partly gnawed by the man's three bull-terriers.

The tower blocks and maisonettes of Cranhill have been a frequent target of police drugs raids. But often the dealers are not stereotype criminals but mothers dealing in heroin, cannabis and other drugs to feed their own habit and make whatever profit they can.

Father Tom Connelly, of the Catholic Church, blamed society for Allan's death.

"It is the pure selfishness of adults who think the drugs problem is nothing to do with them, who set a bad example through their carelessness, who are to blame for this," he said at the time.

Fraser McKernan, 15, was found dead in his bedroom on Edinburgh's Longstone housing estate last Easter Day after taking an overdose of the heroin substitute methadone.

His death brought calls for tighter control of methadone, which last year killed three times as many addicts in Scotland as heroin - 91 deaths compared with 31 from heroin.