Parents who lost son to drugs back lesson plan

Brian Jackson and wife Norma who are backing a plan to educate pupils about the dangers of drugs following the death of their son Nigel (below) died of an overdose aged just 26.

Brian Jackson and wife Norma who are backing a plan to educate pupils about the dangers of drugs following the death of their son Nigel (below) died of an overdose aged just 26.

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A COUPLE who lost their son to an “evil” addiction have backed a Government proposal to introduce compulsory drug lessons.

Brian Jackson, 75, and his wife Norma, 73, from Salt Marsh Lane, Hambleton, have spent the last 21 years warning youngsters about the dangers of drugs.

Nigel Jackson died of an overdose aged just 26.

Nigel Jackson died of an overdose aged just 26.

The pair have addressed community groups, council meetings and schools around the country since their son Nigel died of a heroin overdose in 1991 aged 26.

Mr Jackson told The Gazette: “I hope the Government does something because unless people have been involved with it they don’t understand.

“Drugs are evil and we would have done anything to get our son cared for and do anything for other kids who are suffering as well.”

Mrs Jackson added: “If what we tell someone saves a life then Nigel hasn’t died in vain and he has died for a purpose. In a way, it’s like giving an organ to someone because we are helping them.”

Coalition plans to make lessons about drugs compulsory in schools have been backed by the father of the singer Amy Winehouse.

But the Jacksons, who admit they had no idea about drugs when their former Arnold School pupil son started taking them, say parents must get a rigorous education too.

Mr Jackson added: “We have to get the parents involved, not necessarily in the lessons, but the schools have to organise lessons for them so they know what to look for.

“It’s such a vital thing people need to know about.

“If the parents had an education (on the issue) they would know what to look out for and can help.”

Nigel Jackson battled drug addiction for eight years before he died from an overdose at a rehabilitation centre in Coventry.

He served two sentences in prison for drug related offences before his death and frequently stole from his parents to get money to feed his habit.

The couple have called the eight years in which they all suffered “hell”, but have found solace in helping others.

Mrs Jackson added: “It can sometimes be perceived on television drugs can be a joke, but that is so far away from the truth.

“Drugs need to be taken seriously and we’re going to get involved by writing to our MPs.

“I have been through hell and didn’t think I wanted to do anything, but our life has completely changed in 21 years and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else.

Mr Jackson said: “If walking around wearing dark clothes and being miserable every day would bring our son back, I would do it, but it won’t.

“But if by doing this it helps someone change their thoughts about drugs, then it’s worth it.”

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