Mother calls for illegal drug testing at festivals ten years after daughter's ketamine death

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The mother of a teenager from Somerset who died after taking ketamine at a festival 10 years ago is calling for a more balanced approach to the policing of illegal drugs to enable more safe testing.

Wendy Teasdill's daughter Ellie Rowe, 18, took a toxic combination of the drug with alcohol at Boomtown in 2013.

An inquest heard how she was volunteering for Oxfam at the festival when her friend woke up to find her unresponsive.

Ms Teasdill, who lives in Glastonbury, wants to see more education and drug testing at festivals to help stop more young people dying.

She said: "Had Ellie been able to get her drugs checked she would have found it was very pure and that she shouldn't be taking it with alcohol. One of the most dangerous things about all this is that people die because of a lack of knowledge."

Ellie was only 18 when she died Credit: Family handout

Ketamine has become increasingly widespread in recent years. Police and Border Force seized 1837kg of ketamine last year, a rise of 884% on the year before.

Charity The Loop has provided on-site drug testing at festivals to help reduce the risk of illegal drugs. It's something that Ms Teasdill wants to see more of.

Fiona Measham, founder of The Loop, said: "Ketamine has become much more widespread. One of the things is it only lasts half an hour. So people think only a little bump, it won't do much harm. It feels very controllable compared to other drugs."

Paying tribute to her daughter Ms Teasdill said: "She was quite amazing, she was an extraordinary character. She was like a shooting star blazing bright. She was just fantastic, she was a support to so many people."