The family of a man who was found dead just a week before his 31st birthday today told how his devastating addiction to heroin destroyed his life.
And relatives of tragic Royston Dean have warned others of the consequences of hard drug use – and pleaded with people to seek advice.
Mr Dean, who had battled a 13 year addiction, took his own life after telling his family he was unable to stand what the drug had done to him.
In a note left to his family, he said he had lost sight of who he was. He told his mum he was sorry, but he did not want “this life” any more.
He was found hanged near the disused rail line at Poulton on May 12. He was just a week away from his 31st birthday and about to begin his next stint in rehab.
Tragically, he dreamt of getting himself clean of the drug and launching a campaign to educate youngsters of the dangers of taking heroin.
Today, as she looks through the hundreds of cards, messages and flowers sent by those who knew and loved her son, mum Julie Dean said her son had often spoken of how he hated his life and just wanted to be normal.
She said: “He hated the drug scene, and it was very sad to see him spending so much of his time in his bedroom.
“When it should have been the prime of his life, and he should have been out enjoying himself, he was in a very dark place. He would go from a good looking boy to a shrivelled up person in a matter of days. How it changes a person and what they look like is unbelievable.
“It is a terrible drug and it got a hold of him. Heroin is the worst drug in the world – it’s the devil itself.”
Yet before he first took heroin, Mr Dean was popular, happy and sociable.
A former Breck Primary School and Hodgson Academy pupil, he had worked for the family business Dean Decor and had completed an NVQ Level 3. He was also a great lover of football and enjoyed spending time with his many friends.
But he tried heroin once, at a millennium eve party aged 18, and quickly became hooked. “He regretted the decision to say yes to that drug for the rest of his life,” added Mrs Dean.
“He was a very happy child. He loved his work, which he was very proud of, and he was very sociable. He just had a hard-working, amiable personality. He was a good lad when he was not on the drug.
“It took a while. He would not take it and then it always seemed to draw him back. He just went worse and worse.”
“We are all devastated, and shall miss him terribly.”
Royston, of Derby Road, Poulton, sought a lot of help from CRI – formerly known as Addaction – in Fleetwood.
And Mrs Dean, 57, has today urged others to seek advice and help.
“It is an awareness thing,” she added. “I would advise people not to go near or ever try this drug. And I want parents to be aware and warn people of the dangers. I don’t think there is enough education in schools about drugs.”
Royston also leaves his dad, Carl, and brothers Ashley, 29, and Curtis, 26.
Mrs Dean said she wanted to thank everyone who had sent cards and flowers.
Royston’s funeral will be held at St Chad’s Church, Poulton, tomorrow, at 11.30am.
Wellwishers are asked to make donations to CRI in lieu of flowers.