THE family of a teenager who died at the RockNess music festival have spoken of their "unbearable" sense of loss and issued a heartfelt plea to others not to dabble with drugs.
In a poignant tribute to a son they described as "happy, caring, kind, loyal and affectionate", the family of 19-year-old Alex Heriot - who collapsed and died at the scene of the festival overnight on Saturday - told of their heartache.
Two other teenagers from Edinburgh, who are understood to have known Alex, were also taken ill and hospitalised after taking the drug. They were discharged on Sunday. Urgent warnings were issued by police to avoid using "legal highs", laboratory-designed drugs which can be openly bought over the internet.
In a statement issued on Monday, the family said: "He was very popular with a large group of close, good friends. He was beautiful both on the outside and the inside where it matters most. He loved his life.
"The fact that we will not be seeing him wandering around the house with his laptop playing his music, teasing his sister and asking if there was any food and could he have a bus fare please is unbearable.
"Alex was attending a music festival which he had been looking forward to enormously. As a young man who enjoyed life it was unfortunate he chose to experiment with a drug that had such a catastrophic effect on his system.
"We are devastated that we have lost him but anything he did, in every area of his life, was done with good intent, in this case to get the most out of his festival experience."
Alex, of Portobello, Edinburgh was not a regular drug user, his family said.
"Alex was not a habitual drug user. We know that young people dabble in drugs and Alex had been warned to steer clear. Please, please be aware that certain drugs can kill and please don't be the next youngster to leave their family bereft."
They said his sudden death "has left his family in a state of shock and is a loss we will never get over".
Alex had nearly finished his HND in media and was planning to gain further qualifications by attending Queen Margaret University.
Police revealed 235 positive drug searches had been carried out at the festival over its three-day duration with a total of six people arrested on suspicion of drugs dealing offences.
But police declared themselves pleased with the general behaviour of the vast majority of the 30,000 revellers attending.Look out for a picture spread and further reports inside this week's Ross-shire Journal.