​The last few weeks have been quietly sad for me after learning of the deaths of four addicts, either known to me or to friends of mine. My drug-addicted son knew two of them well. He worked with one and rented a sofa for many months in the other’s flat. All four were young men in their 30s or 40s. All lived in the south west of England. And all had a long history of drug or alcohol addiction. I feel sad for such a waste of life. I feel sad that they were unable to get off drink or drugs. I feel sad for the circumstances in which they died. And I feel devastated for their families.

As the mother of an addict, I have often wondered how I’d react if the police knocked on my door to tell me my son is dead. I’ve seen a police car drive up my road and been convinced that the moment had arrived. It almost feels like I’ve been training myself just for that very moment.  Believing if it happens, I’ll be prepared, it’s no surprise so I’ll be able to cope. At other times I think my world would fall apart and I don’t think I’d ever recover. I hope I never have to know the answer.

These four young men lost their lives due to addiction and will be statistics by this time next year. But of course their loved ones will never recover and my heart goes out to them. RIP all addicts who lose the battle.