Flintshire mum's anguish over heroin addict son

Published date: 17 March 2014 |
Published by: Jamie Nield-Siddall 
Read more articles by Jamie Nield-Siddall  Email reporter


A HEROIN addict’s mother has spoken of the devastation drugs have had on her family.

She has told of her living nightmare at watching drugs take over her son’s life during the past seven years.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, is highlighting her story following the Leader’s investigation last week - which exposed the drugs problem on the Dyfed Drive Estate in Queensferry.

She has said the problem is not just confined to that estate but is a county-wide issue, and said she wants to see more done to support addicts and prevent dealers entering the county.

During the past seven years her son has lost his job, spent time living on the streets, and sold everything he has ever owned in a bid to fund his habit.

“It's an absolute living nightmare,” she said.

“There should be more help available for these people - they are living in the shadows.

“We need to keep the drugs out of the community.

“To get rid of the drugs problem in Flintshire you need to get to the route cause, and that is these people coming in from outside of the area to supply the drugs.”

Despite the pain her son has caused for the family, she has vowed to never stop fighting for him.

“I keep my son’s problem hidden - it has caused so much misery,” she said

“It has made life an absolute living hell.

“It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch your son do this - he can’t get out of this cycle.

“He has been to prison - the drugs have taken over his life.”

She has named various locations where she has taken her son to “score” - mainly near the riverbank in Deeside.

“I know where they are dealing,” she said.

“I have had to take my son to places when he has been so ill so he can buy drugs.

“I have lost count how many times I have had to take him to get drugs.

“I always try to help him - but with helping him it’s just enabling him to continue.

“It has left me physically, emotionally, mentally and financially drained.”

Now she wants to see more support offered to drug addicts to help them make a recovery.

“There is nothing out there to offer these people - they are living like zombies, they have no prospects.

“My son can’t do anything for himself.”

A Deeside Intervention Programme, ARCH Initiatives, which offers support to addicts has said 75 people access support from its service in every week.

ARCH offers a wide range of services to people with substance misuse problems, enabling them to focus on positive solutions and recovery.

The anonymous mother has also called for more to be done to stop the drugs coming into Flintshire, adding: “If the problem was taken out - these people haven’t got any means of travel.”

Her elderly parents are said to be absolutely devastated because of her son’s drug habit, and have since cut all ties with their grandson.

“It is absolutely devastating,” she said.

“He is fractured from the whole family now.”

Steve Jones, ARCH’s Wales director said: “Misuse of drugs can have a catastrophic impact not only on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual - but also on family relationships and wider communities.

“Our aim is to help our service users to break down the barriers to recovery and break out of the cycle of self destruction, which ultimately leads to offending behaviour.”

LAST week the Leader discovered used needles near the Dyfed Drive Estate in Queensferry.

Residents described the drugs problem on an estate as being sheer hell.

They labelled it a disgrace – saying they feel intimidated and “scared to let their children play outside”.

They also claimed dealers have been supplying drugs on the children’s park, and gangs of up to 30 people congregate on the fly-over – the only access on to the estate by foot.

Police responded saying they were planning on stepping up patrols in the area, and were working with Flintshire Council to clear up the area.

A police spokesman said they had called a meeting with concerned residents last month but only two residents turned up.

He added: “Last week an officer met the same two residents again to see if they could help get more people interested in meetings on the issues in Radnor Close and Dyfed Drive and that they are still waiting to hear.”

 EARLIER this month discarded syringes were found in the Deans Place area of Connah’s Quay.

Cllr Bernie Attridge, deputy leader of Flintshire Council, made the discovery and described those responsible as being “the scum of the earth”.

He said one resident told him that her husband was out with their grandson - who went to pick the used syringe up off the floor.

ARCH Initiatives offers a wide range of therapeutic and support services to people with substance misuse problems, enabling them to focus on positive solutions and recovery.

Lynn May, of ARCH, said: “Approximately 75 people access our support services in Shotton every week.

“More than half (54 per cent) of those with whom we work are drug free and stable at the end of their six month treatment programme.

“More than eight out of 10 of our service users in Shotton achieve important positive milestones such as getting a house or obtaining a job.”

She added: “We work closely with individuals to help them to understand the wider issues underlying their drug misuse and recognise triggers and cravings.

“Our services include one to one advice sessions on harm reduction and relapse prevention as well as crisis intervention support.

“We have a Monday morning drop in session in which service users are supported through difficult or crisis situations in order to minimise harm.”

During their visit service users area also able to access washing and laundry facilities as well as light snacks.

Two additional crisis intervention drop-in sessions are held on Monday and Thursday afternoons between 3pm and 5pm. Services users are assisted with a range of enquiries from housing to health issues.

Ms May added: “In addition we work in partnership with other agencies throughout Flintshire on wider aspects such as reducing offending behaviour, homelessness prevention and improving independent living skills.”

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