The truth behind Charlotte Dawson's death

By Caroline Overington
Thursday, June 26, 2014
The truth behind Charlotte Dawson's death
Charlotte Dawson. Photography by Peter Brew-Bevan. Styling by Nell Simpson.

The NSW Coroner has been asked to investigate whether Charlotte Dawson's decision to take a highly-addictive, experimental drug to treat her alcoholism may have contributed to her suicide.

In a 5000-word investigation into Charlotte's death, The Weekly reports that the popular and beautiful TV presenter was taking a black market drug designed to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. 

The drug, Baclofen, has been linked to at least one other high profile suicide, in Britain.

Balcofen is easy to get online, but it has never been approved for the treatment of alcoholism. It is supposed to get the spasms of multiple sclerosis under control.

In pictures: the life of Charlotte Dawson

The drug was last year linked to the suicide of a talented, beautiful, but deeply depressed BBC press officer, Anna Sargent, whose body was found on the banks of the Thames. 

A British coroner heard that Anna searched the internet for Balcofen as part of a desperate quest to control her battle with the bottle. 

She overdosed of the drug, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after suffering hallucinations. She left the clinic, and was later found dead. 

Of Anna's death, the coroner said: "This has been a very unhappy tale - Miss Sargent was a beautiful girl and she clearly loved her family."

Alcoholics began buying Baclofen either online, or on the black market, after a Parisian heart specialist, Dr Olivier Ameisen, published his book, The End of My Addiction.

Dr Ameisen said that Balcofen helped control his craving for alcohol. 

A clinical trial of the drug for the treatment of alcoholism is believed to be underway but Australian doctors generally won't prescribe it, and it isn't clear how Charlotte got the drug. 

The NSW Coroner is due to receive a brief of evidence on Charlotte's suicide from the Kings Cross police today. 

If you or someone you know needs help, contact beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline 13 11 14.

Read more of this exclusive story in the July issue of The Australian Women's Weekly. 

Recipe Search
Tip: Try "lamb & potato" or "Low GI"

'Plantable' coffee cups with seeds .

Reduce Reuse Grow This kick-starter could solve all your coffee cup problems with its new seeded coffee cups to fight... More >

Bali Nine moved to execution island.

Bali Nine pair moved to execution island Bali Nine death row inmates Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were this morning being transferred out... More >

Weekly newsletter

Recipes in your inbox We send you the latest recipes from the Weekly plus all the week's best bits to your inbox.
Sign up now >


handy hints(676)/ royals(591)/ expert advice(492)/ royal family(487)/ books(443)/ natural health(406)/ food(330)/ recipes(330)/ prince william(321)/ kate middleton(319)/

Must Read