Please refer to me as Anonymous.
My 23 year old son died from an heroin overdose last year. He started using the drug when he was 17. Needless to say for those 2 years, it was a living hell.
Every time I walk to the shops, I see young people and people of all ages stood around scoring drugs. Having been through this terrible experience with my son, addicts are easy to spot, especially heroin addicts.
I loathe this drug with a passion and I feel that the Government and the Police aren't doing enough to combat the epidemic. Drug dealers, be it high to low level, should face tougher sentences and those sentenced for drug related crimes should be sentenced to a proper closed rehab facility. Prison does not work for drug addicts. It is a pointless exercise. Without a doubt any crime committed should be dealt with by the courts but as others have pointed out on your blog, why sentence a drug addict to prison when prisoners are selling drugs inside? It is completely pointless. Prison absolutely does not nor cannot rehabilitate a drug addict. The revolving door issue will continue and the doors will not stop rotating.
My son served a short prison sentence for theft, a spate of thefts he committed to feed his heroin addiction. He absolutely would never have stolen before he became addicted to drugs. In fact even if he found a pound coin on the floor, he'd have handed it in! He stole purely because he needed heroin. Heroin alters the chemicals in your brain. Long story short, your brain will crave this drug forever therefore addicts more or less will re-offend. It stands to reason and you can bet your bottom dollar that addicts make up a very large number in the prison estate. I am confident that drug addicts and dealers will keep the prison service ticking over nicely.
Burying your child is one of the worst things a parent can go through. I am still extremely bitter that a drug took him away. He wasn't a bad lad. He thrived at school and achieved high grades. He was well mannered and popular - until he made that one stupid choice to try heroin. Bit by bit and little by little, his once fresh appearance turned in to that of a pale grey one. He self-neglected and looked dirty. I used to prompt him to take a shower and he refused saying there was nothing wrong with how he looked. He was always in denial. His whole personality changed and I didn't know him anymore. Heroin is a like an entity that suffocates the soul and the kind loving child you once knew is no more.
I shudder when I see an addict in the street because one day their loved ones will probably have to go through what I went through and I really wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Anonymous