West Lothian mother’s drug campaign after her son’s death

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A Scottish mother has been heartbroken after the death of her 20-year-old son after taking valium on the streets is desperate to do more to tackle Scotland’s drug-related death crisis.

Tracy Hadlow had fallen asleep after a grueling 12-hour shift in a covid department when officers woke her up to tell her that her son Nathan had died of a drug overdose on March 16 of this year.

Devastated by Nathan’s sudden passing, Tracy now hopes to raise awareness about drug-related deaths and urges people to be compassionate towards drug addicts.

The 52-year-old told the Daily Record: “The Monday before Nathan died, I received a message from Nathan to tell him he was in the cells. He was found with street valium and was in court the next day.



Nathan died of a drug overdose on March 16 this year

“His friends were jailed but he came down and on Tuesday he called me and I texted him that I was working and that I would call him later.

“I got home and went to bed at 9:20 pm because I had another 12 hour shift the next day. The door closed at 11:30 am and it was the police. I went to the door and they asked to enter.

“They sat down and put their hats on the table. I heard the words he had ‘sadly passed.’ I was so shocked. I was sitting in my nightgown. My tongue was stuck to the palace.

“The following days were a blur.

Tracy, an NHS clinical support worker, from Livingston, is now all too familiar with the heartbreak and struggles of a family member dealing with drug addiction, but believes there is still a significant lack of education about drug and drug-related deaths.

The mother said she didn’t even know that street valium could be deadly until Nathan passed away and wanted more information on the subject.

Tracy said: “I wish I had been more educated. Since Nathan’s death, it opened up a huge box of worms for me.

“There is a lack of understanding. I never understood their addiction and I didn’t know anyone else with addiction issues. I wish I had known more about addiction.

“Now I am ready to do anything to raise awareness about drug-related deaths. “

“I think there is huge judgment and a lack of empathy towards drug addicts.”

Tracy, who describes Nathan as “loved by everyone” before his addiction, also believes that more needs to be done to address the stigma and lack of empathy towards people with drug-related issues so that they can ‘they and their families feel comfortable asking for help.

She said: Tracy said: “Nathan was a lovely boy, but he has changed so much over the years. ‘He used to be a bubbly and fun young boy’ that everyone loved and he was very articulate and bright, but over time it gradually changed and the addiction took over. “

She continued, “Nathan’s mental health was not good. He struggled during the lockdown and I think that’s why he started taking street valium.



Nathan’s mother, Tracy, now hopes to raise awareness about drug-related deaths and urges people to be compassionate towards drug addicts

“Nathan didn’t wake up one day deciding he wanted to become a drug addict – no one does.

“But people judge because they don’t understand, or often they don’t care, and that’s very sad.

“The government must do more to change this.”

Drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2020 were even worse than they were in 2019, as a confidential report, previously leaked to the Daily Record, found an increase in the number of deaths in December – up 33% compared to the two previous years.

The Scottish Police’s estimate of suspected drug-related deaths for 2020 was 1,346. That was ten more than the 1,336 they had estimated for the previous year.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘We extend our sincere condolences to Mrs Hadlow and her family. Every drug-related death is a tragedy.

“We are taking a series of steps, including using additional funds to expand awareness initiatives that identify people at risk, address their immediate health concerns, and link them to other community or clinic services for more holistic support. .

‘A total of £ 4million is spent on introducing new treatment standards, the Drug Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards, which will ensure that drug addicts start receiving assistance the day they request it. , regardless of where they live in Scotland.

“These new MAT standards will also ensure that anyone identified at risk upon admission to hospital for drug-related harms or near-fatal overdose is identified and prioritized, and supported in the treatment that is right for them.

‘We have said that a national mission is needed to tackle the emergency of drug-related deaths and we have allocated an additional £ 250million over the next five years to improve and increase access to services for people affected by drug addiction. “

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