Nah, the vodka has nothing to do with it, it was all the Pepsi Max

Apparently a woman drank herself to death on Pepsi Max…you know the sugar-free version.

That’s what the headlines say anyway.

A mother-of-one drank herself to death with Pepsi Max while on anti-depressants, an inquest heard.

Victoria Lane, from Clayton, Stoke-on-Trent, died from ‘excessive’ levels of caffeine and fluoxetine after downing up to eight litres of the fizzy drink on a daily basis because she enjoyed the taste of it.

The 38-year-old was found dead at her home by her 19-year-old son, Reese, earlier this year. He called 999 and paramedics rushed to the scene, but they were unable to revive his mother.

A post-mortem examination later found the combination of Pepsi Max and prescription drugs had led to ‘excessive consumption’ of both caffeine and fluoxetine, resulting in Miss Lane’s death.

The inquest heard how Miss Lane had struggled with depression, anxiety and paranoia for years.

She had been prescribed drugs, including fluoxetine, to help, but had also started to drink heavily.

Because she liked the taste of Pepsi Max, she decided to use it as a mixer for vodka. The drink also helped her with the side-effects of the drugs, which left her with a dry mouth, her mother said.   

On a daily basis, Miss Lane would drink up to four two-litre bottles of the liquid, the inquest heard.

Just hours before she passed away, Miss Lane’s son had returned home to find her sleeping.

But when he awoke the next morning, he realised his mother had stopped breathing.

Reese told the hearing: ‘She was in the same position as I saw her the night before. I tried to wake her up but her jaw was completely locked. That’s when I started to worry. I called 999.

He added: ‘When mum was drinking heavily she could get through a one-litre bottle of vodka a day and four two-litre bottles of Pepsi Max.’

The vodka can’t have had any effect, because the headlines have blamed Pepsi Max.

Miss Lane’s mother, Rosalind Lane, told the inquest that her daughter had ‘changed’ following a serious car crash when she was only 16 years old.

She said: ‘She recovered physically from it but I noticed a change in her personality after that.

‘She became very black.

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

She added: ‘I knew she drank vodka, but I didn’t know exactly how much.

‘She did drink a lot of Pepsi Max though.

Yeah it is all the Pepsi’s fault.

No, it was stupidity that killed her. But watch for politicians to call for bans, labels and taxes.


– Daily Mail

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.