Former drug addicts and counsellors have praised a “brave” family for coming forward to highlight the dangers of killer substances.
Royston Dean died when his use of heroin destroyed his life and led him to commit suicide on May 12.
His parents, of Derby Road, Poulton, have pleaded with people to seek advice after watching their 30-year-old son’s life ebb away during a 13-year battle with the drug.
And counsellors are backing the message to stop other families going through an ordeal like the Deans.
Steve Pope, a former addict who is now counselling people in Bispham, said: “It definitely helps for people to come forward because the only way we are going to learn lessons from drugs is through an educational process.
“It makes life easier the professionals who are dealing with it because it makes people more aware and treatment can start earlier, making it better for everyone.
“They are a very brave family and we can’t sweep this under the carpet, we have to face it together.
“Making other families aware of what they could face is the only act of love left for a family that has lost somebody.”
Mr Dean, a former Breck Primary School and Hodgson Academy pupil, worked for Dean Decor, the family business.
He first experimented with heroin during a Millenium Eve party aged 18 and became addicted.
Mr Dean had hoped to get clean and set up a campaign to help youngsters.
Lorna Simpson, 58, a former addict and counsellor at Pierpoint in St Annes has also backed the family’s brave decision to speak out.
She said: “All drugs kill, it’s a progression.
“Addiction is a long, horrible disease, but there’s help for people who come forward and talk about what this drug can do because people are dying out there.
“All the family can do is intervene to get their son or daughter the help they need, but if they don’t want help, they won’t be ready to receive it.”
Steve Morton, a public health practitioner for Blackpool Council, added: “Death as a result of heroin is quite low so it’s important those affected by it do encourage people to get into treatment.
“The number of people using heroin is reducing and and the average age of people entering treatment is getting older.
“The reason the age is going up is because there’s fewer people using it and people who have been using it for a while are now getting treatment.”
Anyone needing help with their addiction can contact the Assessment Choices Team (ACT) at Horizon Treatment Centre on (01253) 311431.
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