'Drugs kill' is mother's warning to parents on eve of film's screening

A MYTHOLMROYD mother who lost both her sons to drugs is warning parents their children could be next.

Michelle Jones, says her eldest son Liam could not escape heroin once he tried it, or the dealers who hounded him when he tried to get clean.

The 29-year-old is featured in a documentary about drugs and drink in Calderdale due to be screened in Hebden Bridge on Sunday.

Liam had been clean for seven months before he started taking heroin again. He was found dead of a suspected overdose in a drug den in Wainhouse Terrace, King Cross, Halifax, last November.

His death came just two years after his brother, Sam, 25, died after a drink and drugs overdose in Hollins Crescent, Hebden Bridge. Their mother said: "Drugs kill. Drug dealers are like paedophiles – they prey on the young and vulnerable."

Liam was 14 when he started using drugs, experimenting with cannabis and lighter fuel. Two years later he was introduced to heroin.

"It was the end of the '90s and there were a group of about 25 teenagers in Hebden Bridge who all tried it at the same time," said Mrs Jones. "I was mortified when I found out. To me, heroin meant death."

She said her son had been a "lovely person" destroyed by addiction. She and her husband David did everything they could to help him, including paying for detox, seeking help for him and getting advice from various drugs agencies.

The couple, who run a family business, and their three daughters, had to live for 14 years with Liam's addiction. She said he would go missing for days at a time and sometimes came back beaten by drug dealers and, once, stabbed.

There were several periods when Liam was clean, but drug dealers would follow him, offering cheap heroin to entice him back.

Since the deaths of her sons Mrs Jones has been working with support groups for parents whose children are addicts. The family also recently held a sponsored walk from Hebden Bridge to Luddenden Foot.

Around 300 people took part, raising 4,000 to educate children about drugs.

The film, Shed Your Tears and Walk Away, will be shown at Hebden Bridge Picture House at 7pm on Sunday, March 28. It was made by Jez Lewis who grew up in Hebden Bridge.

For advice on drug misuse call the Basement Project on 01422 383 063, Lifeline on 01422 258800 or your GP.