Suicide, attempted suicide and self harm

“We firmly believe cannabis was the catalyst in a chain of events that ended with Lee’s death. Children who smoke cannabis are playing Russian Roulette with their lives, particularly if they are at risk from suffering mental ill health. The government should be making everyone aware that cannabis is harmful.”
Parents of Lee Wellock: Parents’ blast after cannabis led to son’s death

  1. Tributes paid to much loved father-of-three at inquest into his death: ‘The inquest heard he smoked cannabis but that did not affect him as he was a functional user. Ms Gomersal also heard he had laughed off suggestions from his family that he had depression when they expressed concerns about his behaviour, in particular the fact he was sleeping a lot… A toxicology report carried out during the post-mortem, found he had consumed alcohol and cannabis at a social or recreational level that night.’ (13 July 2019)
  2. Dad-of-three found dead in road took his life in midst of mental breakdown: ‘A father-of-three who had been a regular cannabis user for more than 30 years was found dead in Exeter after suffering from a severe mental health breakdown. Paul Hughes, 50, had been staying at his cousin’s flat in St David’s Hill, Exeter, when he tragically “dived” to his death on July 1, 2018 at around 5.30pm.’ (3 July 2019)
  3. TROUBLED TEEN Schoolgirl, 16, killed by a train on GCSE results day ‘may have been influenced by self-harm group’, family fear: ‘She had began struggling with her mental health from the age of 13 and had also started to smoke cannabis, the inquest heard… Concerns over the Jasmine’s use of cannabis were also raised during the inquest. Doctor Marcus Panchaud said: “I’m not a drugs specialist, but is has been said cannabis can cause psychosis”.’ (6 June 2019)
  4. My best friend took his own life and only now can I say that cannabis may have been to blame: ‘When I tentatively put it to our friends that our jaunt abroad might not be enough and that maybe it could be cannabis, we all quickly agreed it wasn’t connected. There were other things we turned our attention to instead, things easier to blame for his low moods: romantic troubles, slipping grades or teenage hormones. Perhaps we would have thought differently, acted differently, if we knew what we do now – that smoking cannabis as teenager could increase the risk of depression in adulthood by almost 40 per cent.’ (3 Mar 2019)
  5. ‘I was stood on a bridge, ready to throw myself off… this place saved me’: The drug and alcohol service turning young addicts’ lives around: “I’m not going to lie, cannabis has ruined my life”. (12 Apr 2019)
  6. Boy, 14, who hanged himself in bedroom ‘wanted parents to find him before he died’: ‘Adam Bramley was moved schools after he started smoking cannabis but he hated the switch and would frequently play truant…A post mortem found traces of cannabis in his system and the cause of death was given as compression to the neck.’ (11 Jan 2019)
  7. ‘He just wasn’t able to deal with his demons’ – the tragic dad-of-eight found dead in an abandoned office block: ‘Claire Pritchard, Robert’s sister, said her brother had battled mental illness, including addiction, and struggled to cope with both his own demons and the stresses of being a father. She said he began smoking cannabis as a teenager and then began to show signs of mental health problems as he moved into adulthood… Evidence was read from his GP James Smith about paranoid psychosis he had suffered from, ‘thought to be the result of cannabis use’. (5 Nov 2018)
  8. Much-loved teenager found dead in woodland: ‘The former Gordano School student admitted to using cannabis on a regular basis and reported hearing voices. He was seen by GP Max Howes in June 2018, who described Theo as an ‘articulate’ youngster.’ (16 Oct 2018)
  9. Immigration detention staff ‘thought suicidal man had toothache’: ‘He smoked cannabis to help him sleep and one evening approached dealers near Streatham’s St Leonard’s Church to stock up on supplies. Gwoździński was short-changed, a scuffle broke out that was caught on CCTV. The following morning, he was arrested and taken to Harmondsworth.’ (11 Oct 2018)
  10. ‘I felt that I had no right to grieve for my daughter’ – mother of tragic woman at centre of Garda video controversy: “But her downfall was she used to smoke weed which caused her to lose touch with reality”. (7 Oct 2018)
  11. Climbing expert, 26, stabbed himself to death after suffering years of mental health problems ‘triggered by smoking cannabis on a trip to Amsterdam’: ‘Liam Postlethwaite, 26, had a clear bill of health problems but was said to have changed after his trip to Amsterdam with friends in 2011.’ (5 Oct 2018)
  12. Teenager was found dead in garden by mother, inquest hears: ‘Pathologist Dr Adnan Al-Badri confirmed that Jordan died as a result of hanging, but also revealed evidence was found of recent cannabis use.’ (15 Aug 2018)
  13. Tragedy of teenager who died from deadly heroin binge two years after family warned him about dabbling in cannabis: ‘Former sea cadet Chris Sale began smoking cannabis when he was 17 but quickly progressed onto cocaine then valium and heroin.’ (27 July 2018)
  14. Cannabis made me suicidal and schizophrenic – this is what I want young people to know about the drug: ‘Ad Gridley was 18 when he had his first cannabis joint while on a gap year in Canada. He had no idea his choices then would – most likely – be the trigger for a 10-year unremitting, downward spiral that would see him diagnosed with schizophrenia and make multiple suicide attempts.’ (25 June 2018)
  15. ‘Cannabis killed my son – don’t let it do the same to you’: ‘A retired teacher whose son’s death was caused by mental illness brought on by cannabis is touring schools to warn children about the drug.’ (3 Dec 2017)
  16. Mum, 32, who took cannabis to fight morning sickness, ‘killed herself after developing drug-induced psychosis’: ‘A mum who took cannabis and magic mushrooms to ease her morning sickness killed herself after developing serious mental problems, an inquest has heard.’ (8 Nov 2017)
  17. ‘I was mad, bad and violent and not a nice person to know’ – Norwich woman turns her life around to help others in similar situations:“I was a problematic child who people couldn’t handle,” said Ms Jackson. “I was very impulsive and started self-harming, drinking and smoking cannabis to act as some kind of release.” (7 June 2017)
  18. Teenager chopped off his penis after drug use caused psychotic episode: ‘A father whose teenage addict son chopped off his own penis and stabbed his mother is backing a campaign to reclassify skunk as a class A drug.’ (5 June 2017)
  19. Bodybuilder, 20, dies after taking cocktail of drugs bought illegally on the dark web: “He turned to cannabis to cope with his anxiety and grief. But then he started working out and this gave Robbie structure in his life.” (16 Mar 2017)
  20. Recovering cannabis addict from Colney Heath found hanging in garden by step-sister: ‘Paul Ellis, 28, of Rose Stock Lane, Colney Heath, St Albans, was found hanging in the garden of his Colney Heath home by his step sister on May 10.’ (18 Oct 2016)
  21. Teenager left ‘suicide note’ videos for family on mobile phone before stepping in front of train: ‘Troubled Luke Dadds, 18 – who smoked cannabis daily – left his PIN number on a note with instructions on accessing his final tearful messages and left them under his duvet.’ (20 May 2015)
  22. Think cannabis is harmless? It drove this grammar school boy insane – then killed him: ‘Melanie Leahy has many photos of her son, Matthew. But it is the one of him aged 13, fresh-faced and dressed in his grammar school uniform, that is the most painfully poignant of all.’ (16 Oct 2013)
  23. ‘Warm and friendly’ man researched suicide methods before death: ‘An inquest at Windsor Guildhall last Thursday heard the 33-year-old also had a long history of psychosis caused by cannabis and, although in the week before his death he had said he had stopped smoking, a post-mortem showed the drug in his body.’ (20 Mar 2013)
  24. Cannabis blamed for former Marlow man’s suicide: ‘Chris Benning, who had a long history of mental health issues, was found hanging from a tree in Hatchett Woods near Frieth by a dog walker on April 9. The inquest into his death heard he started using skunk – the most potent form of cannabis – at the age of 14, which led to him being diagnosed with schizophrenia a year later.’ (9 Feb 2012)
  25. Unlawful force contributed to death of boy, 14, in cell: ‘The inquest in Easington, County Durham, heard he was an “extremely troubled and vulnerable young man” with a history of cannabis abuse when he was sent to the centre near Medomsley, 150 miles from his home town.’ (27 Jan 2011)
  26. Life on cannabis has been far from poetry: “I can’t emphasise enough the damaging effect that cannabis had on my life”. (21 Oct 2009)
  27. Cannabis warning following A303 death: “Cannabis is a dangerous drug and is harming more and more people. It is as dangerous as hard drugs. I think the psychiatrists did all they could to help his condition. He was a young man and if he had been through rehab he may have kicked his habit.” (21 Apr 2010)
  28. Girl killed herself after row over £5 to buy drugs: ‘Grace Travis’ mother Wendy had refused to give her the cash because the 17-year-old wanted to buy cannabis with it… Grace, a former pupil at North Manchester High School for Girls, returned to live with her mum in late 2007. Her mother described how Grace would drink alcohol and smoke cannabis regularly.’ (8 Feb 2010)
  29. Student suicide over course worries after cannabis use: ‘A promising privately educated student who thought he might fail a college course and let his family down jumped to his death after cannabis use led to paranoid behaviour, an inquest heard.’ (30 Oct 2008)
  30. Children’s author Harry Horse ‘stabbed his wife 30 times’ as probe casts doubt on ‘Romeo and Juliet suicide pact’: ‘It is understood the author, known to use ecstasy and cannabis, had taken a ‘cocktail’ of drugs. Witnesses said he was roaming the house hours before the killing, proclaiming: ‘It’s a wonderful night for a killing.” (13 July 2008)
  31. Gruffalo author backs cannabis crackdown after son’s suicide: ‘JULIA DONALDSON, author of The Gruffalo, the bestselling children’s book about a mouse’s adventures with a monster, has backed the reclassification of cannabis, blaming the drug for exacerbating the mental illness that drove her son to suicide.’ (11 May 2008)
  32. Cannabis linked to man’s suicide: ‘Coroner Stanley Hooper entered the controversy about the reclassification of the drug after hearing how a young man committed suicide while suffering from schizophrenia brought on by cannabis use.’ (7 Apr 2008)
  33. Bridgend teenager hanged himself after telling ex-girlfriend he would ‘kill himself and it was her fault’: ‘An inquest was also opened into the death of 16-year-old Jenna Parry, whose body was found hanging in Cefn Cribbrw on Tuesday […] Jenna had been taking cannabis and prescribed drugs. Hanging was given as a provisional cause of death.’ (22 Feb 2008)
  34. ‘Heartbroken’ mum’s alert over drugs: ‘A mother has warned of the perils of cannabis after her son took the drug to ease his depression.’ (19 Oct 2007)
  35. Descent into madness: High flyer who was driven to psychosis by cannabis: ‘As a talented schoolboy, Jason Pegler started smoking cannabis at 15. The drug was to have a devastating effect on his future, triggering severe episodes of manic depression.’ (6 Sep 2007)
  36. Mother blames cannabis for suicide of promising violinist daughter: ‘A gifted musician, the 22-year-old studied at the prestigious Royal Welsh College of Music and seemed destined for a career in the performing arts. But her life once so full of promise was prematurely ended when she killed herself after cannabis turned her into a shambling wreck and left her a depressed recluse terrified of going outdoors.’ (5 Sep 2007)
  37. Rick Stein restaurant worker commits suicide by slashing throat after mind warped by cannabis: ‘Darren Raymond Billing, 22, from Padstow in Cornwall, was found at a beauty spot by his father on May 3, last year. The former kitchen porter at Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant in Padstow had stab and knife wounds to his abdomen, throat and wrists. In statements read out at the Inquest at Truro Coroners Court, Mr Billing’s parents Gill and Nicholas Billling, said that their son had been treated for bouts of depression since he began smoking cannabis, taking acid and drinking heavily at the age of 17.’ (27 July 2007)
  38. Tragedy of A* student who took his own life after struggling with stress of Manchester University five-year medical course: ‘Although test showed no recent drug use, the Manchester hearing was told he had been self harming and had taken various drugs including LSD cocaine and Ecstasy. He admitted he had harboured suicidal thoughts when under the influence of cannabis.’ (19 July 2017)
  39. Mum and son in BBQ tragedy: ‘The hearing was told Anjun was hooked on cannabis and feared her son had been abused. Anjun, was psychotic and delusional at the time, possibly caused by smoking two or three joints of cannabis a night.’ (9 July 2007)
  40. Cannabis linked to solicitor in death leap at Tate: ‘In a written report, Matthew’s GP, Dr Maher Shakarachi, said: “He suffered from bi-polar affective disorder that may have been triggered by cannabis use. He came off all medication by November 2006”.’ (16 May 2007)
  41. ‘Did cannabis trigger my son’s suicide?’: ‘WHEN Joy Ford’s son Edward admitted he smoked cannabis, the mum-of-three thought he was just being a rebellious teenager. But after his tortured life ended in suicide, she is convinced the drug is to blame for his death. Here, the 63-year-old from Blewbury, Oxon, tells her story…’ (2 Apr 2007)
  42. ‘Skunk killed my beloved son’: ‘He was mischievous, charming and always on the go; if there was a tree to be climbed, he was there. He loved music, he loved life. In 2003, at the age of 16, he started experimenting with cannabis.’ (26 Mar 2007)
  43. ‘Like Cameron, my son smoked his first joint as a teenager, ten years later he was close to death.’: ‘A bout of cannabis-induced paranoia had led him to attempt suicide and for two days we weren’t sure whether he would pull through.’ (18 Feb 2007)
  44. Parents’ blast after cannabis led to son’s death: “If it was not for Lee using cannabis in his late teens then he may not have developed schizophrenia and would not have then took [sic] his own life. We firmly believe cannabis was the catalyst in a chain of events that ended with Lee’s death.” (13 Apr 2006)
  45. File closed on attack that left young mother paralysed: ‘His “psychotic” state was a result of his long-term abuse of cannabis and amphetamines, said Mark Rowley, the assistant chief constable of Surrey.’ (23 Nov 2005)
  46. Family blame drug use for student’s death: “We believe that cannabis was a directly-contributing factor towards his death and no one will ever convince me otherwise. He was a perfectly healthy and happy young man until he started to use cannabis. Eventually, it caused his depression and he was smoking it to heal himself. There are a lot of young people out there killing themselves through drug use and more needs to be done to raise awareness. We believe cannabis caused the depression and more should be done to investigate its links with mental illnesses.” (13 June 2005)
  47. Drugs warning by tragic Joanna’s dad: ‘Her father Carl, of Elm Avenue, Lutterworth, believes Joanna’s dependency on the drug, which she would sometimes smoke for seven hours a day, started the decline and led her onto harder drugs. He said: “I am for anything that gets the message across to people, particularly young people, that cannabis is very, very dangerous.”‘ (12 Feb 2004)
  48. Cannabis linked to student’s suicide: ‘Charles King, 23, a student at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, had left a note saying, “cannabis has ruined my life”.’ (9 Sep 2003)

And counting.