File image: Pexels
A medical student killed himself after he started taking drugs to cope with the stress of his degree, an inquest heard.
Matthew Rowe, 20, was studying to become a doctor after achieving A* grades at school.
But the undergraduate, who was also a keen sportsman, told friends at Manchester University he was finding his five-year course difficult and took drugs to relieve ‘boredom, low moods and anger'.
The inquest heard he smoked cannabis ‘most days' to ‘manage his emotions', but admitted to doctors that the drug made his anxiety significantly worse. 
He also took cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and ketamine. He had developed hand tremors and was prescribed medication for sleeping problems, the hearing was told. 
Dr Justine Croft, from NHS Manchester Crisis Centre, which carried out a mental health assessment on Mr Rowe before his death, said: ‘He admitted that he had had suicidal thoughts when under the influence of illicit drugs. He said that smoking cannabis made his anxiety much worse.
‘He did admit that he had regular fleeting thoughts of taking an overdose or hanging himself but had never made any plans of made any attempts to commit suicide.' 
She added that ‘superficial' self-harm incidents had never required medical attention. 
Prior to his death in January, the student told professionals that he had stopped taking cocaine and ecstasy completely and was using cannabis less frequently. 
Instead, he would drink ‘to excess', Dr Croft said.
Mr Rowe, who excelled in rugby, athletics and hockey, was found  by fellow undergraduates hanged in his bedroom at his hall of residence. Tests showed no recent drug use but he had told friends he believed he was suffering from serious mental health problems.
Fellow undergraduate Dominic Buttery said: ‘He told me he believed he had schizophrenia but the last time I saw him he seemed positive and we were talking about living together next year.'  Another friend, Chantelle McMaster, said: ‘I had known him to take cocaine and he smoked cannabis most days but from what I was aware of this was not on a level that would cause me concern.'  
Mr Rowe, from Bassaleg in Newport, South Wales, struggled when he started his medical degree in September 2015. After a few months he decided to take a break and resume studying the following September. His mother Louise Rowe, 47, a nursery nurse, told the inquest: ‘We began to notice that Matthew was struggling with the course. He was a bit moody and we could see he had cut his arms in a few places which he had never done before.'  
Mrs Rowe said that when her son returned home for Christmas in 2016, ‘he said he had been feeling very low and I had never seen him so lacking in confidence or displaying such a level of paranoia'.  
Recording a conclusion of suicide, Manchester Assistant Coroner Nick Stanage described Mr Rowe as a ‘brilliant young man'.But he added: ‘I cannot escape the quote from Dr Croft that Matthew had admitted fleeting thoughts of taking an overdose or hanging himself when his mood dropped.' 
* For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or go to 

© Daily Mail