Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Drugs: don't deny the risk
It's a story which every parent in Merseyside from whatever background should read and reflect upon. Today?s ECHO Real section features an interview which will tug at your heartstrings, because it's an interview with a woman who lost her son to a heroin overdose. And it?s an article which will also challenge some people's view of drugs and their victims.
For grieving mother-of-four Philippa Skinner is a vicar?s wife from Upton, who described her son, Jim - who died at the age of 21 - as quiet, ordinary and hard-working.
This, then, is a human tragedy which underlines the reach of drugs and drug addiction and makes clear that no one can feel complacent and clear of its grip. Those who are complacent, believing that drugs only affect other families -those, perhaps, they see as living on "the wrong side of the track" - are living an arrogant and dangerous lie. Drug addiction is no respecter of postcodes or the so-called class divide. Middle class families in Middle England are not immune from the dangers of drugs, and we applaud Philippa Skinner for having the courage to write a book about her own shattering loss.
It is only by people like Philippa, a former nurse and teacher, sharing their traumatic experiences that others will be able to learn a potentially life and death lesson. And every parent who reads our interview with her owes it to themselves and their families to recognise any worrying indicators in their own children and co confront them. The story of Jim Skinner's death is a tragic one, but his mother is doing all she can to ensure other families don't have to go through what her family has suffered.