A BEREAVED Bromsgrove mum who lost her two sons to heroin will march from Cookham to Westminster to lobby Parliament about the UK’s drug laws.
Rosemary Humphries, along with her husband Jeremy, from Finstall, will join thousands of other families bereaved or affected by drug abuse on the six-day walk, which starts on June 20.
As part of the event, run by non-profit organisation ‘Anyone’s Child’, the families will walk the Thames path and attempt to ‘turn talk into action’ at Parliament.
The 74-year-old said: “On the way we’ll be getting publicity, raising awareness and taking part in fund-raising.
“We believe banning drugs and criminalising those involved with them can cause more harm than good.
“I never dreamed we would lose one son to heroin, let alone two.
“Our boys Jake and Roland were born three years apart but they were best friends from the start.”
Rosemary and Jeremy realised their sons were using drugs including cannabis, amphetamines and magic mushrooms towards the end of their teenage years.
“I would have conversations with them and tell them it was wrong,” said Rosemary.
She added they would often leave her reassured they could stop but eventually started using heroin and things quickly got worse.
The pair felt they could not talk to anyone else about it because others would judge their parenting skills.
When Roland, the youngest of three boys, was 23 he took heroin for the last time at his friend’s house.
By the time the ambulance arrived it was already too late, he was dead.
Jake managed to turn his life around in the years that followed.
Rosemary said: “He worked hard, got back into exercise, found a partner and undertook a masters degree but I don’t think he ever really got over the guilt of how his little brother died.
“Just when I thought his drug issues were behind him, he relapsed but kept it secret from everyone.
“One day he was found dead, alone, in his room.”
Rosemary and Jeremy say people will always want to take drugs and want the Government to look at changing drug laws to stop other families losing children too.
Rosemary said: “Instead of going to street dealers to get drugs, it would be much safer for our children to have gone to a clinic where they would have had counselling advice at the same time.”
A spokesperson for Anyone’s Child said: “No one doubts drugs can be dangerous – that’s why we should do all we can to prevent young people from taking them.
“But at the moment we have drug-gang violence, countless lives ruined by criminal records for possession, and entirely avoidable deaths from contaminated street drugs.”
He added people needed to move beyond fear, discrimination and punishment, which was why they were calling for drug policy reform.