real life

Skye was found dead in a van after a heroin overdose. One thing could have saved her.

As Skye Turner’s heroin addiction tightened its grip on her, she turned to her mother and told her she “was worthless and that she may as well die”.

Those would be the heartbreaking final words Marie Turner heard from her daughter.

Days later on March 10, 36-year-old Skye was found dead in a van on Melbourne’s Elizabeth St hours after injecting a fatal dose of heroin; something her family insists would not have happened had she had access to safe injecting rooms.

Laura Turner (left) and with her sister Skye (right). (Image: Facebook)

Skye's sister is Channel 9 journalist Laura Turner, and she yesterday made the brave decision to cover her own sibling's death to make a heartfelt plea.

"People are dying at the highest rates since the 90s of heroin overdoses... things are not working," she told Neil Mitchell on 3AW.

"People like Skye are the forgotten ones. They’re judged. They’re people, real people."

To her family, Skye was a "beautiful and intelligent" daughter and mother-of-two, and the idol of her only sister.

"She was my sister, she was a state champion sprinter in her prime, and now she’s dead," Laura said.

"When my sister died, I had this anger inside of me... a real passion to help people who suffer the way she did." (Image: A Current Affair)

Skye's addiction was especially hard for her mother, who watched her daughter struggle to cope.

Marie said she had pleaded with Maroondah Hospital to keep her daughter in a psychiatric ward, mere days before she died. Skye was instead discharged into the care of another heroin addict.

"She said to me, ‘Mum I don't want to be like this anymore’," her mother, Marie told A Current Affair. "She told me ... that she was worthless and that she may as well die."

“I said, ‘My daughter has threatened her own life. She has told me that she wants to die, that her life is not worth living, she has told me this today because I had been in the room with her'.

“And what did they say? ‘They all say that’.

“My daughter is not ‘they all’. My daughter is a precious individual.”

Listen: Journalist, Luke Williams talks to Meshel Laurie about how he became addicted to crystal meth in his search for a great story about why people become addicted (post continues after audio...)

Since the opening of Australia's first safe injection room in Sydney's Kings Cross in 2001, not a single person has overdosed at the facility and ambulance call-outs to the area have dropped by 80 per cent.

Currently, support to establish a safe injecting facility in Richmond is growing, with the Victorian Government set to consider legislation that would prevent the loss of lives like Skye's.

"For a long time I've felt a real burning desire to change things," Laura said of her unwavering support of safe injection rooms.

"When my sister died, I had this anger inside of me... a real passion to help people who suffer the way she did."

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, please seek help from your GP, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or SANE on 1800 18 7263. For more resources, see the Alcohol and Drug Foundation website.

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