YOGA DRUG ALERT
Sunday People|January 24, 2021
Coroner’s warning after death of woman with fading mental health
Amy Sharpe and John Siddle

SHE was a carefree young professional, enjoying city life with her housemates and a promising career as a web designer.

But Jennifer Spencer took her own life aged just 29 after seeking enlightenment by trying mind-bending drugs and practising Kundalini yoga.

Her tragic death at Beachy Head has prompted a coroner to issue an urgent alert to NHS England bosses over the drugs – and her yoga regime.

Jenny died months after drinking psychoactive brew ayahuasca in Peru.

A banned Class A substance here, it is regarded as traditional plant-based medicine in parts of South America and popular with backpackers.

At the inquest, East Sussex assistant coroner James Healy-Pratt said Jenny’s “mental health deteriorated following ingestion of shamanic hallucinogenic drugs and Kundalini yoga.”

Shattered

It is believed to be the first time British authorities have named Kundalini yoga – practiced drug-free by stars such as Demi Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow – in the circumstances of a death.

The coroner said narcotics like ayahuasca were “becoming more commonplace” in the UK but there was a lack of awareness among mental health experts about them “and their propensity to cause or exacerbate psychosis”.

Jenny’s shattered family praised him for highlighting the issues.

Her aunt Fiona Chase, 71, said Jenny had no known mental health problems before drinking the drug while on holiday in Peru with her “healer” boyfriend seven months before she died.

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