Teenager who beat heroin dies of methadone overdose


By Amanda MacMillan

AN ex-drug addict who helped young heroin users fight addiction has died after taking a single dose of methadone at a friend’s flat.

Linzi McGowan, 19, who worked for Snowsport Scotland, was found dead at a friend’s flat on Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after being released from hospital following a methadone overdose.

Having been drug free for a year she was helping other young heroin users fight their addiction when she died.

Her grief stricken Mother Myrna, 50, described her daughter as “full of love, happy and never down in the dumps.”

She added:  “Linzi started on heroin when she was just young. She is only 19 now. I think it had a grip on her for about a year.

“She came to me and said, ‘Mum I need your help’. She was my daughter; you would do anything for your children.”

Linzi refused to take methadone at the time of her addiction and went “cold turkey” for three weeks at her mother’s Chesser home.

She was clean for over a year but did keep her old circle of friends.

Mrs McGowan said: “She was trying to help everyone else and saying if she could do it they could do it. And it didn’t matter what the problem was, she thought that she could help solve it, and say the right things.

“Sometimes I thought she was trying to save the world. Going by what people are writing about her she did help. I didn’t approve of her doing it because I was scared she would be dragged back into it but I didn’t realise how strong she was.

 “This should be a warning to her friends because Linzi always tried to help people and I hope this can help any of them to see the dangers.”

An online tribute has been made in Linzi’s memory in which more than 3000 people have visited.

Many of her friends have left messages in tribute to her short life.

Her friend Lara Hay, who made the site, said: “Linzi im going to miss you so much babe you were & will always be 1 of my best friends, 1 of the bettys I’ll never forget you, I hope uve made ur mark up there & let every1 know whos boss, party on hard my girl & keep me a space beside you i’ll c u some day soon, watch over Wee Liam for me, keep smiling gorgeous & shine on , love you Lara x”

Another friend Susan Gillies said: “In My Heart Linz a twinkle in the sky like you sent to me love you millions hunny xx You touched my life and I am grateful I had the pleasure to have met such a wonderful girl x”

Mrs McGowan added: “CID are still investigating and as far as I know someone gave her something on Friday.

“I don’t know if she took it intentionally or not, but I have heard that she took 80 millilitres of methadone which really shocked me because she had beaten her heroin [addiction].

“She was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and was later released because she was in no danger but died overnight on Saturday night. I know she didn’t sign herself out because I checked that but we are waiting on toxicology reports.

“CID say they don’t believe she took any more drugs on Saturday night.”

 “Words cannot describe our grief. It’s unbelievable. What gives me some comfort is the thought that my wee Linzi doesn’t know she’s dead. She went to sleep and never wok up again. Seeing how much peole loved her and the tributes from her friends are helping too.”

Investigations are ongoing to establish the origin of the methadone and in a statement police said: “There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.”

Linzi is survived by mum Myrna, dad Eric, brother Liam and stepsister Elle.

Her funeral will take place at St Ninian’s Church on St John’s Road in Edinburgh at 1pm on Monday.

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