30/10/2014 12:59 GMT | Updated 30/12/2014 05:59 GMT

The Blight of Drugs on Our Society Is Creeping Inwards


For me I can never get what I truly want. I can only tell my story in order to prevent another tragic headline such as the one that appeared above my precious Martha's photograph last summer. Martha was out with friends one beautiful Saturday morning when she took ½ gram of ecstasy powder. I will never forget how terrified I felt when a stranger phoned me and said "your daughter is gravely ill and we're trying to save her life." Sadly, two hours later, Martha suffered a cardiac arrest and died from an accidental overdose. Martha was a normal curious 15-year old who truly loved life.

What do you do when your only child dies? Well, when your world crumbles, you have two choices, you either cling onto your own life and do whatever you can, or you give up. Even within the immediate aftershock, I felt an incredible sense of urgency. Within a couple of weeks I was searching for answers. I spent hours online trying to work my way through the jargon and propaganda so ingrained within this subject. I met with experts in order to ask questions and learn as much as I could. The more I learned, the more I could see where the problems lay. It was evident that the laws as they currently stand are not managing to keep people safe.

I'm a practical person, a natural problem-solver. If something doesn't work, I look for solutions. I no longer have the luxury of being able to save my own child, but by being part of a sensible dialogue for change, I can hopefully help prevent others from suffering a similar fate to mine. It is our duty to do what we can to keep people safe - if something doesn't work properly, then it makes sense to investigate why that is and to look around for best practice and turn to experts for advice.

The blight of drugs on our society is creeping inwards and many families are now directly affected. Surely that is a strong enough indication that something is not working and change is necessary?

I would like MPs to really engage with this and actually do something about it. This problem isn't going to go away by avoiding the subject or by hoping that someone else will sort it out. I'd like to ask them to consider how they'd feel if it was their child or grandchild that had died last summer - would they sit on their hands then?

An independent review of existing policy would be a good, practical starting point. An evidence-based approach is vital and a bit of common-sense wouldn't go amiss either. My dream would be for a safety-first approach using realism rather than idealism. It's vital that we take control of drugs in order to establish a healthier and safer society for all of us.

No legislation has changed since Martha died and as long as that remains the case, that realisation eats away at me.