“Moment of madness”: rare drug implicated in student death
Two St Andrews students arrested and another dead in relation to drugs
The arrest of two St Andrews students for allegedly supplying drugs and the tragic death of another in what is suspected to be a fatal reaction to a psychedelic has pointed to a culture at odds with St Andrews’ public image.
On Friday 12 April, Nicholas Friend, 19, and Stewart Wright, 22, appeared at Cupar Sheriff Court charged with being concerned with the supply of illegal drugs. The pair made no plea and were released on bail.
Friend and Wright’s appearance in court came one day before relatives switched off the life support of Lewis Greig, 21, who is believed to have died as a result of a fatal reaction to the drug DOC. Greig had been on life support for three days before his family turned off the machine.
In an email sent to all students and staff, Professor Louise Richardson, St Andrews’ Principal, explained that Greig had been taken ill after submitting his final year dissertation. “He was attended by paramedics and taken to hospital in Dundee but never recovered,” she wrote.
Although the toxicology report is still awaited, Greig’s mother has spoken publicly about her son’s death, telling reporters that he suffered a fatal reaction to the drug DOC.
In an interview with The Citizen she added that Greig had planned to study positive psychology “because it didn’t involve the use of drugs, and that’s why this was a moment of madness.”
Classified as a psychedelic drug, DOC is similar to LSD and its effects of increased awareness, euphoria, and heightened senses can last up to two days.
In February 2013, a student at Houston State University was hospitalised after taking the drug but survived.
Greig was revived by paramedics but after three days on life support at Ninewells hospital his family made the decision to switch off his life support on the morning of Saturday 13 April.
In her email on Monday 15 April, Professor Richardson described Lewis as a “gregarious, compassionate, tolerant, open-minded and affectionate young man.” She added: “I know that news of Lewis’s tragic death has come as a great shock to our community, to all who knew him and to residents of Agnes Blackadder Hall, where he lived.
“A bright student who came to St Andrews from Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy, Lewis had hoped to continue to postgraduate study in Psychology. Away from his studies, he was a keep-fit enthusiast, enjoyed weight training and running, and had been a regular user of our Sports Centre.
“Lewis came from a very close family, who had dinner together only last Sunday. He is survived by his parents Alan and Jackie and a younger sister Hollie, who is a student at Edinburgh University.”
Rachael Millar, a classmate of Greig’s, told The Saint that his attitude towards life was always a breath of fresh air. She said: “It is still too strange to believe that he’s not with us anymore.
“Every time that somebody walks in late for class, I turn around expecting it to be him because it always was. I would say ‘rest in peace’, but ‘rest’ has never been a word that I would associate with you since you were always having too much fun for that.
“His Psychology classmates of 2013 will always remember him, his contagious smile, and will keep a place for him in our hearts.”