POLICE are warning revellers of the dangers of illegal drugs following the death of a teenager at a festival near Winchester last year.
Ellie Rowe, 18, from Glastonbury, Somerset, died at BoomTown last August after using class C drug ketamine.
Now police will hand out leaflets with a stark warning from her parents, to remind festival-goers of the consequences of taking drugs.
It reads: “Ellie Rowe was a bright, vibrant, wickedly funny, fun-loving young woman. On August 8 2013 she went to BoomTown, high on excitement and anticipation – and returned home in a coffin.
“Before taking it, Ellie had drunk alcohol, which increases the poison levels of ketamine, and though her alcohol level was just a little over the drink drive limit – she died.
“The effects of Ellie’s death will be life-long for all of us who knew her. It is too late for our beautiful daughter now, but we would ask anyone considering taking ketamine to think again.”
The leaflet also pictures the teenager, and explains that she was not a habitual user.
Superintendent James Fulton, police commander for BoomTown Fair, said: “We will be maintaining a robust position on both drugs and legal highs, or new psychoactive substances, all of which are banned from site. If you are found with drugs you will at the very least be ejected from site and barred from returning, and there is a very good chance you will be arrested and prosecuted.”
He added: “We strongly endorse the extremely powerful message from the family of Ellie Rowe, which is a stark and desperately sad reminder of the danger of casual drug use, in Ellie’s case, ketamine.
“Even just dabbling in illegal drugs and psychoactive substances can have catastrophic, and in this case, fatal consequences – you might believe you’ll be fine, but how do you know? The only way to be certain is not to take any at all.”
The four-day event at Matterley Bowl starts this Thursday (August 7) and runs until Sunday.