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Originally published November 18 2015

38-year-old mother dies from combination of Pepsi Max and prescription medications

by Amy Goodrich

(NaturalNews) Earlier this year, teenager Reese Lane found the lifeless body of his 38-year-old mother, Victoria Lane, at their home in in Clayton, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

His mother had been asleep when he came home the night before. When he woke up, she was still in the same position and Reese quickly realized something was wrong. He called emergency services, but all help came too late and the paramedics were unable to revive his mother.

After a post-mortem examination, the pathologist noted that Reese's mother died of excessive ingestion of fluoxetine – a prescription drug she used to treat anxiety, paranoia and depression – in combination with overconsumption of caffeinated beverages such as Pepsi Max.

A fatal combination of soda and prescription drugs

Reese told the inquest that his mother would drink as many as eight liters of Pepsi Max a day as well as up to a liter of vodka in combination with prescription drugs. She was struggling with depression, anxiety and alcoholism.

According to her family, she drank such high amounts of Pepsi Max because she had a very dry mouth from the prescription drugs and she happened to enjoy the taste of it.

Rosalind Lane, Victoria's mother, told the inquest that her daughter had changed after a serious car crash when she was 16 years old. Although she recovered from all of her injuries, her mother noticed that the otherwise bright child she had been was no longer there.

"She used to be bright and outgoing but she became reserved and a bit of a rebel at college."

"I knew she drank vodka, but I didn't know exactly how much. She did drink a lot of Pepsi Max though. One of the side-effects of the drugs was that she had a very dry mouth and Pepsi Max was what she liked to drink," she added.

"I did question her about it because of the high amount of caffeine, but she told me it was fine."

Tragic accidental death

Although Victoria was coping with her inner demons through medication, alcohol and fizzy drinks, she was a lovely person with her whole life in front of her. This case shows that mental health needs to be taken more seriously.

A neighbor described Victoria as a funny, warm character. However, she added:

"She did have hidden demons, though, which came from her car accident. I think drinking became a way of coping."

Sarah Murphy, North Staffordshire's assistant coroner, recorded the conclusion of death as accidental.

She said: 'It is absolutely tragic that such a young lady who had overcome significant adversity and had managed to sort herself and who had so much life and so much to look forward to, died prematurely.'

According to her family, she did receive a lot of help and support from New Days in connection with Mind UK. In order to help other people who are suffering from mental issues, they are raising money in her memory on their JustGiving page.

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