Tragedy sends out warning

First published in Our View

No one could fail to be moved by the pain and anguish the family of Joe Preston, who died at the weekend after taking ecstasy, are going through.

They have taken the extremely brave step of speaking out in a bid to warn others tempted by drugs of the very real danger such substances pose.

It is worth stressing that Joe was not a regular drugs user and certainly not an addict. His father is honest enough to admit that his son had tried drugs on a few occasions.

That occasional use has now robbed him of everything he had to live for, all the opportunities he would encounter, and left his family bereft.

It shows the true indiscriminate nature of deaths caused by drugs, and should give everyone who is tempted to try an illegal substance pause for thought. Does anyone really want to risk putting their family through the kind of grief the Prestons are enduring?

And it also highlights once again the true evil of drug dealers, who peddle their potentially deadly substances without a thought for the consequences. Everything possible must be done to stop them selling to our young people.

All parents must feel a shudder when they read Joe’s story. Children have to be allowed to make their own mistakes, but the consequences of this one for Joe and his family and friends are devastating.

And anyone who feels the need to use ecstasy or other drugs should heed the words of Joe’s mother, Viv: “A kid won’t want their parents to go through what we’re going through.”

If this tragedy does have an impact and spares other parents from the Prestons’ agony, then that will be some small positive from this sad waste of a young life.

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