Family blames drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for son's fatal heroin overdose

By Lunar Loops · Sep 26, 2008 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    Placed this under the heading propoganda as that is undoubtedly and unfortunately what it is. The Daily Mail has its own agenda and it is appalling how it uses the misery and pain of others for its own pathetic middle England ends. Unfortunately, there are people who take this paper seriously. SWILL can say no more. Here is the article (article link):

    I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    By David Wilkes

    Last updated at 11:02 PM on 24th September 2008

    The family of a Sea Cadet who died of a heroin overdose has blamed drug-abusing celebrities for setting a bad example.

    Christopher Preece, 18, overdosed when he injected himself in what was possibly his first experience with the Class A drug, an inquest heard.

    His grandfather Keith Preece said: 'Young people see the likes of Amy Winehouse taking drugs and think they'll do it too and it'll be okay, but that's far from the case.'

    There has been growing controversy over the number of celebrities escaping charges despite appearing to use illegal substances.

    Miss Winehouse's descent into addiction has prompted her father to say he wishes she could be locked up for her own good.

    But even when video footage emerged showing the singer smoking what appeared to be crack, it was not enough for her to be charged.

    Kate Moss was also caught on film snorting line after line of what looked like cocaine.

    But the matter was eventually dropped by police through lack of evidence.

    Last weekend it was revealed that George Michael received only a caution after he was arrested in a public toilet for possessing crack and cannabis.

    The inquest heard that Mr Preece had been playing computer games with two friends on the night he took heroin at his flat in Didcot, Oxfordshire, in March last year.

    The next morning his friends found him sprawled on the bathroom floor, still breathing, but they could not revive him. They did not call an ambulance until 6.30pm.

    Paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but it was too late.

    Yesterday his mother Emma, 37, said: 'The kids were all too afraid to call an ambulance for fear of getting a slapped wrist, but that would have been so much better than this.'
    She said of drug-taking celebrities: 'It makes it harder to get through to kids that it's not a good life.

    'It's a culture we are seeing every day in the media and it's becoming a way of life. It's the authorities that need to do something in these situations.'
    Retired engineer Mr Preece, 65, said his grandson was 'gifted at everything he put his mind to', excelling as a cadet, musician and chef.

    He had been recognised for outstanding service to the cadet movement and was appointed a Lord Lieutenant Cadet at 16.
    Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner recorded an accident verdict at the hearing on Tuesday.

    Martin Barnes of drug information charity DrugScope, said: 'While celebrities should be sensitive to the impact they may have, we should not underestimate the ability of young people to reach informed decisions about drugs.'

    In law, proof of possession requires a substance to be found on an individual and for the substance to be proved to contain a banned ingredient.

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  1. Lunar Loops
    Heroin is hard work. You don't drift into it

    A rather more reasoned response from The Times, but far fewer people will read this (see how it works?). Anyway, the article (article link):

    Heroin is hard work. You don't drift into it
    Shooting up is a complicated business. You don't try it just because your favourite singer did

    Martin Samuel

    It was his first time. It always is. When the 18-year-old Christopher Preece overdosed on heroin at his flat in Didcot, Oxfordshire, his family believe that it was possibly the first time he had experimented with Class A drugs. And they know who was to blame: Amy Winehouse. Last year it would have been Kate Moss. A few months on it would be George Michael.

    Preece was a lord-lieutenant cadet in the Sea Cadets, so the juxtaposition sits nicely. The upstanding young man, a credit to his family, led astray by these degenerate celebrities and their scuzzball lifestyles.

    So this is how to take heroin. To begin with, dilute it in water, citric acid or vitamin C. Heroin comes as a powder, or as tiny rocks, so this is not hard. Do it on a spoon. As a first-timer, you will probably be using around 5 to 20 milligrams of heroin, so be careful. Use a small syringe, capacity 0.5-1 cc, to apply the liquid. You'll need it later, so keep it handy. Once the solution is mixed you may have to apply a little heat from below. Some forms of heroin require this, others do not. Ask your dealer if you are not sure. As a general rule, professionals - or addicts as they are more commonly known - recommend diluting white forms in water with heat, brown forms in citric acid or vitamin C with heat and pharmaceutical heroin just in water, without heat. Now you're ready to go.

    A tourniquet can be applied to the arm to aid the intravenous process, but is not always necessary Using the small syringe, draw the solution through a filter - an unused cigarette end will suffice if cotton buds are unavailable - and aim the needle for the injection site. The median cephalic vein at the crook of the elbow is most popular, although some prefer the basilic vein at the top of the upper limb, which is easier to locate but contains a greater chance of nerve damage or an arterial nick. The hit will be fairly instant, 5 to 30 seconds. You may need to suppress the urge to vomit.

    The point is: does this sound like the kind of process that an otherwise stable human being would enter into, just because he sings along to Valerie? Cooking, chemistry, self-mutilation, plus some fairly determined shopping to kick it all off. Forget the heroin, where would you get a 0.5cc syringe in a hurry without giving the game away? And vitamin C, that is at least a trip to the supermarket. Who wants that with a gram of smack burning a hole in the pocket?

    It is a myth, the impressionability of teenagers where the deadliest drugs are concerned. Nobody becomes a casual heroin user. It is too much like hard work. It is the most determined act you will attempt all year. You think you've got it tough putting up shelves or laying a new patio? Try getting whacked out on horse. It is a commitment. It is the whole day gone.

    Anyone who is not dedicated, anyone who is just going along with it because he thought Amy looked cool at Glastonbury, anyone who saw her rambling incoherently and fighting with her fans because someone hit her with a hat and thought “that is the life for me” - obviously without the fame, the money or the talent - that sort of person would bail out of the heroin lifestyle after the first awkward trip to the chemist in the high street.

    In popular legend, dead drug kids are always hapless novices. In some cases, it may be true. Not many, though. Not any with heroin. We're not talking gateway here. Once you are involved with spoons and syringes, once you are impaling your arms and sourcing lemon juice like a Mediterranean chef, you are pretty much through the gate and on to the open highway, and don't start kidding people that George Michael led you there.

    Nobody listens to him these days. Until he got caught with crack, most thought he was in the retirement home in the room next to Andrew Ridgeley. There was a huge outcry this week when it emerged that Michael had been given only a caution for possession of a class A drug. “What kind of example does this set to the children,” was the cry. Michael had his best years before any teenager was born. He is about as influential as Cab Calloway these days. And Winehouse isn't as big as bereaved relatives think.

    “Young people see the likes of Amy Winehouse taking drugs and think they'll do it too and it will be OK,” Keith Preece, grandfather of Christopher, said. No, they don't. Drugs are around and young minds are inquiring. Nobody aspires to be her; they just look at what is available and think: “I wonder what those do?”

    Boredom is the biggest curse for a teenager and drugs are a boredom buster. And drugs are not the answer, either, because they get boring, too, as listening to Winehouse's recent stuff will establish, but ennui and curiosity are why kids get involved. Christopher Preece was up all night in Didcot, playing computer games with two friends. Doesn't exactly sound like the road less travelled.

    And on the subject of stuff that will get you killed, he was also in the Sea Cadets, a gateway armed force that sucks impressionable teenagers into the harder stuff, like the Royal Navy. As deadly as heroin if you don't know what you are doing, those guys. So just say no, kids. To all of it: just say no.
  2. entheogensmurf
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    I wonder what they blame Requiem for a Dream for...

  3. cannabis-sam
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    If only it was properly controlled and given to addicts by the state through their doctor, when you've got drugs with unkown strength no wonder people die from it, for instance ecstacy it is perfectly safe if you know what you're doing but you get some one who tries it for the first time and dies from dehydration because they didn't know that you're meant to keep well hydrated on ecstacy.

    If hard drugs (heroin crack) were given free to addicts you wouldn't get any first time users (or very few at least) because there would be no insentive to get people hooked like there is when it is illegal, because nobody could really sell it seeing as it would be precured from the state at first oppurtunity.

    The most important thing in my opinion that needs to change in the politician's and the public's mind that drugs are not a criminal justice issue it is a public health issue and should be in the hands of doctors and drug workers rather than organised criminals.

    I wonder when the world will wake up and learn what a stupid policy prohibition law is.
  4. beena
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    If anything in this country should be banned ... it should be the bad journalism and sensationalism adopted by (red-top) papers, of which the dirge has to be the Mail.
  5. cannabis-sam
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    Although in regards to cannabis they all seem to be extremely biast.
  6. chillinwill
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    how can they blame amy winehouse? she didn't make him shoot up.....he chose to do it. although he might have thought that since winehouse was doing drugs, that he would be okay too, however, winehouse has tolerance and such and from the article, it looked like he doesn't

    the blame should be on the guy that OD'ed as unfortante as that sounds....especially regarding IV'ing anything, the user should take all the necessary precautions.....its a shame it happened but just goes to show ya that not everyone is as eduacated as a lot of ppl here on DF. everyone can learn a lesson from this tragedy
  7. beena
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    Some years ago now The Independent ran a campaign to decriminalise cannabis. So not quite all newspapers are the same ... it's mainly the tabloids.

    SWIM agrees with ChillinWill ... we all have independence of choice and free-will ...nobody made SWIM take drugs ... she was quite capable of making that decision herself. There is enough information available out there (on this forum for one thing) that can allow people to have all the facts regarding different substances if people take the time to look. SWIM knew the dangers before she got involved with drugs but chose to take them anyway.
  8. Jatelka
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    I never thought I'd agree with anything written in The Times: But I like that piece!
  9. fiveleggedrat
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    As sick and wrong as many think it might be, Swim can only muster a laugh when reading about overdoses and deaths due to severe ignorance. And we all know, most deaths that occur are NOT from we would look at normal, acceptable, safe use. AKA Heath Ledger.

    Hard to feel pity for a racist or sexist, so why is it different for any other type of stupidity?

    Knowledge is the key to the world.
  10. adzket
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    swim things this is stupid, and this is y people should discuse drugs with there kids swim posted a thread the other day entiteld swiy's kids and drugs. as a way for people to discuse the best ways of talking to there kids. but to just blame a famous person because there problems are in the media is rediculas y not balme the person who sold them it? or beter still them selfs most kids turn to drugs because of problems at home or else where in there lifes parents have the ultimate responsibility.
  11. cannabis-sam
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    Unfortunatly since then they published this:

    Cannabis An Apology

    Record numbers of teenagers are requiring drug treatment as a result of smoking skunk, the highly potent cannabis strain that is 25 times stronger than resin sold a decade ago.
    More than 22,000 people were treated last year for cannabis addiction - and almost half of those affected were under 18. With doctors and drugs experts warning that skunk can be as damaging as cocaine and heroin, leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers, The Independent on Sunday has today reversed its landmark campaign for cannabis use to be decriminalised.
    A decade after this newspaper's stance culminated in a 16,000-strong pro-cannabis march to London's Hyde Park - and was credited with forcing the Government to downgrade the legal status of cannabis to class C - an IoS editorial states that there is growing proof that skunk causes mental illness and psychosis.
    The decision comes as statistics from the NHS National Treatment Agency show that the number of young people in treatment almost doubled from about 5,000 in 2005 to 9,600 in 2006, and that 13,000 adults also needed treatment.
    The skunk smoked by the majority of young Britons bears no relation to traditional cannabis resin - with a 25-fold increase in the amount of the main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC), typically found in the early 1990s. New research being published in this week's Lancet will show how cannabis is more dangerous than LSD and ecstasy. Experts analysed 20 substances for addictiveness, social harm and physical damage. The results will increase the pressure on the Government to have a full debate on drugs, and a new independent UK drug policy commission being launched next month will call for a rethink on the issue.
    The findings last night reignited the debate about cannabis use, with a growing number of specialists saying that the drug bears no relation to the substance most law-makers would recognise. Professor Colin Blakemore, chief of the Medical Research Council, who backed our original campaign for cannabis to be decriminalised, has also changed his mind.
    He said: "The link between cannabis and psychosis is quite clear now; it wasn't 10 years ago."
    Many medical specialists agree that the debate has changed. Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at London's Institute of Psychiatry, estimates that at least 25,000 of the 250,000 schizophrenics in the UK could have avoided the illness if they had not used cannabis. "The number of people taking cannabis may not be rising, but what people are taking is much more powerful, so there is a question of whether a few years on we may see more people getting ill as a consequence of that."
    "Society has seriously underestimated how dangerous cannabis really is," said Professor Neil McKeganey, from Glasgow University's Centre for Drug Misuse Research. "We could well see over the next 10 years increasing numbers of young people in serious difficulties."
    Politicians have also hardened their stance. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has changed his mind over the classification of cannabis, after backing successful calls to downgrade the drug from B to C in 2002. He abandoned that position last year, before the IoS revealed that he had smoked cannabis as a teenager, and now wants the drug's original classification to be restored.

    Now this article makes some absurd claims, now it says "traditional resin" well swim knows from experience that most the resin on the streets today is soapbar and that's what is smoked by the majority of britains youth a toxic mix of shit with little actual cannabis in it.

    Talking to older smokers swim has found that the "traditional resin" made to sound weak was some extremely potent imported hashish and they would claim that hashish like charras red and blonde lebonese, goldseal etc. these claims are rediculous even though some sensimillia cannabis is quite strong(although a lot is commercial strains bread for big yields rather than quality and improperly dried) the resin smoked 30 years ago was no weaker and even if it was people smoke to get to the level they want as howard marks once said "if it's twice as strong put half as much in the bloody spliff".

    It seems as though are media is completely blind to any common sense about drugs and they all seem to have it in their heads that "skunk" or properly termed sensimillia (seedless bud) is some super mutant genetically modified form of cannabis that's as addictive and harmful than crack.
  12. El Calico Loco
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    Because having one's body and mind abused, perhaps raped and tortured, by violent criminals is better than an adult choosing to abuse her own body and mind.

    Or perhaps he meant in a hospital, so she could be abused by psychiatrists whose solution to every emotional dysfunction is a pill (generally with no biological evidence that the problem is neurological).

    Maybe you were just a crappy father? People become drug addicts for a reason. I wish you could be locked up for my own good.


    Edit: The above was a bit harsh - I know nothing about Winehouse's father and shouldn't toss accusations. I sometimes lose my cool when someone advocates state violence against someone "for their own good."
  13. fiveleggedrat
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    I agree with what you say. Someone has to be the harsh one, just to put another perspective into play. If we all held back what we really thought because of others responses...
  14. cuddlesthefox
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    Swim has stopped reading newspapers.
    Everything is so sensationalized swim can't trust them to tell him any truths at all. Then again, swim does read news online which can be just as bad maybe worse at times.
    On the Amy Winehouse subject, swim hardly thinks the girl is glamourising the use of drugs judging by the recent photographs of her.
  15. El Calico Loco
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    And her songs tell a tale using of drugs to escape emotional problems. Unlikely to influence anyone to try drugs unless they also have emotional problems, in which case one can hardly blame the artist.

    It's like some of these "journalists" are following the laws of power. Attack the famous to create fame for yourself. Stir up controversy to make yourself look edgy. It's all so much bullshit.

  16. Sitbcknchill
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    Do you really truly believe that handing out heroin and crack to all in need (free of charge!) is going to save the world from drug abuse problems? Did you really think about that statement before posting that? Or this would stop first time users from trying it? There would seem to be quite an incentive to be an addict if heroin or crack was legal for anyone to grab up claiming to be an addict and "in need". The goal here is to get people (that are true addicts) help to where they do not rely on substances like these to sustain themselves in their daily lives unless medically necessary. I also understand that every user is not an addict but it is the problematic drug abusers we need to focus on. Feeding a drug addict drugs doesn't cure a thing.

    I agree that it is a dangerous game you play with your life when using black market substances but there is waaayyyy more to the problem than just handing out pharmaceutical grade addictive substances.

    I do agree that certain substances very well could use more research and development for use in the medical world for patients who truly needs them and for that reason should be released for use through medical professionals.

    Legal status does not cure addiction.
  17. beena
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    ^ Yes, although SWIM personally supports the decriminalisation of all illegal drugs and the treatment of drug addicts as a public health issue and not as a crime I don't fully understand or agree necessarily with the statement that there will be virtually no 'first-time users' anymore. It sounds like SWI-cannabis-sam is assuming that the main attraction behind taking illicit substances is just because they are illicit. I think the main reason people take them is because they enjoy them!
    Certainly, SWIM would imagine that there is a number of (mainly young) people who are tempted to experiment with substances they see as being glamourous due to their current illegal status, but if something as facile as that would make a person desire drugs then they might just as easily be swayed by seeing their favourate rock-star on the cover of a magazine doing it and peer-pressure will undoubtingly win every time.
    Just as the illegal status of a substance may encourage a small number of individuals to actively seek it out, likewise SWIM's sure there would be another bunch of people who at present would avoid taking 'illegal substances' who may find it that little bit more appealing if it were suddenly 'allowed'.
    By and by though it is quite easy to contemplate that those who are gonna do it are gonna do it - legal or illegal - and those that are gonna get hooked are gonna get hooked. It may seem like a pessimistic argument but actually I think if you take this as a starting point then the real question then becomes how do we deal with this small group of individuals who will inevitably become addicts - do we criminalise them and punish them or do we ensure that the product they're taking is good quality, and take the business (and profits) off the streets and out of the hands of criminal drug-dealers?
    These are just a few of the fundamental questions that need to be asked.
    I personally agree with all that Sitbcknchill has outlined so far in his above post ... SWIM came off methadone a month ago and heroin and crack-cocaine three weeks ago so SWIM has plenty of recently formed opinions based on her experience with drug treatment centres and health-workers employed by them.
    SWIM was placed on a methadone treatment programme, which she had some initial success with but this only dealt with the physical withdrawals from heroin (and in part the mental too), but not from the intense mental cravings that an eight-year crack-cocaine habit will undoubtedly give you. SWIM felt that the drug treatment centre was only concerned with her heroin problem and took no interest in helping her with her crack problem (not their area of expertise apparently) and SWIM was not given or felt able at that time to seek help for her mental-health issues including depression, social anxiety, nerves and abuse suffered when she was younger.
    Of course SWIM should've sought help out from alternative sources herself but her point is that individuals who are in a similar position with addiction are already feeling vulnerable and many don't want to (or just feel they literally can't) speak up.
    SWIM began using on top of her daily methadone dosage. It began with a (crack) pipe but she habitually bought heroin with crack and so her inability to stop taking crack led to her downfall again with heroin.
    After one binge session with crack and heroin that led to SWIM missing an important appointment (to pick up prescription) and losing out therefore on her methadone dosage for a whole bank holiday weekend and a second incident in which SWIM had taken heroin and 900mg of morphine and therefore decided she would be putting herself in far too much danger physically if she went and topped up further with methadone, SWIM decided to bring herself off methadone and go it alone!
    SWIM was fortunate in that she had a good supply of morphine tablets (MST) and tramadol meant that SWIM was actually able to treat herself almost with relatively few withdrawal symptoms.
    The reason SWIM is sharing all of this information is that she can see now the argument for providing a natural opiate like morphine or pharmeuceutical quality heroin rather than the synthetic methadone. The argument for methadone SWIM s'pposes is that an addict can't get high of it but if this just leads to the addict to top up with heroin and putting themselves in a dangerous position surely this is defeating the object?
    Furthermore if SWIM had continued with the methadone treatment programme SWIM would still have been on it in 6 months time (at least). Some addicts choose the methadone maintenance programme of course whilst others just get caught up in it and languish for years on methadone. Right now SWIM has no opiates in her system at all. She may relapse (realistically it's a strong possibility) but at least she will lhave had a good run of being clean and feeling straight (the three months that SWIM was on methadone she never once felt normal or like her old self - she was just kinda numb). It's truly amazing to feel human once again.
    Surely we don't feel that drug addicts in our society are so bad and worthless that not only do we want to criminalise their behaviour but debase them too by keeping them in a constant state of being un-'comfortably numb'.
    SWIM understands that methadone has saved lives and helped many and believes in it's raison d'etre but if there were a choice between that or pharmaceutical heroin or morphine to use instead of methadone and with the explicit purpose of getting clean SWIM knows she would go for the morphine every time and she is fairly sure many (probably most) heroin addicts out there would choose that option too or the pharmaceutical heroin ... and more importantly still there would be a much higher success rate.
  18. cannabis-sam
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    well for a start it would certainly cut drug crime, I'm not saying heroin/crack should be sold in the supermarket next to alcohol, I'm saying that doctors should give out the heroin/crack they can use common sense drug tests etc to determine whether they are an addict or not, it would not be perfect obviously but compared to what it is today the rates of addiction would obviously be far, far lower.
  19. beena
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    ^ Well yes, because you wouldn't just be decriminalising the drugs but in effect you would be decriminalising the people taking the drugs too ... they wouldn't be labelled criminals for one thing (ie being 'caught' in possession) and presumeably street crime and low-level petty crimes to fund their addictions would also become unnecessary. SWIM also believes this approach would allow more addicts to seek help for their problems - free from the social stigma of addiction (well, too a degree anyway).
    Generally though SWIM just doesn't believe that a person should be labelled as criminal for taking a substance/putting something into their own body. That, SWIM believes, is criminal.
  20. cannabis-sam
    Re: I blame drug taking stars like Amy Winehouse for my son's fatal heroin overdose

    all drugs need to be treated as a health issue through doctors etc not in the criminal justice system.
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