Substance use blamed for mental illness prior to death of man
NEW warnings about the long-term health implications of using drugs such as cannabis were sounded following the death of a man who started smoking it in his teens.
Today, Pat Blades – the grieving mother of Trevor Woods, 39 – said she believed if he was here today, "He would tell you that cannabis is the worst drug of all."
Health experts have warned of the impact of such "recreational" drugs after she told how her son's cannabis and amphetamine use sparked the mental illness which ultimately led to his death.
She found her son and "best friend" dead in his home on Orion Way, Grimsby, in February after he overdosed on drugs prescribed for his depression. He suffered a cardiac arrest.
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At the inquest into Trevor's death, coroner Paul Kelly concluded it was the result of an accident as he "could not be certain" he had intended to commit suicide. However, Pat feels she will "never know" if he had meant to kill himself.
Since the hearing at Cleethorpes Town Hall, Mrs Blades has revealed that Trevor had not taken illegal drugs for eight years, but still suffered from depression.
She said: "He was very shy and started taking cannabis and amphetamine in his teens because he found it easier to talk to people – but the cannabis made him paranoid."
Both cannabis and amphetamine are classified B by the Government.
However, Steve Kay, head of integrated youth support services for North East Lincolnshire Council, warned people not to underestimate substances which could put their "physical and psychological health at risk".
He said: "Any substance use comes with a variety of risks. Poly-substance use – where more than one substance is used in the same session – can be particularly dangerous and should be avoided. People should be aware that if they choose to use substances their physical and psychological health is at risk."
The Royal College Of Psychiatrists has looked at numerous studies to prove there is a link between cannabis use and mental health issues. They claim that:
If you start smoking it before the age of 15, you are four times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder by the time you are 26.
Young people who use cannabis regularly have a significantly higher risk of depression.
Adolescents who used cannabis daily were five times more likely to develop depression and anxiety in later life.
Mental health charity Mind also advises that amphetamine use can lead to depression, migraines and psychotic episodes – particularly in those already suffering with mental health issues.
However, the advice will be of little comfort to Mrs Blades.
Animal-lover Trevor, who dreamed of working for the Blue Cross, was well-known in the Orion Way area because when he walked his dog Lucy, ginger cat Tibby would follow. He was a loving son who carried his mother's shopping in every day and lived on the same street as her for all but a few years of his life. He even won a holiday to Las Vegas and gave it to Pat and her husband Pete, for her 50th birthday.
Pat said: I would like to thank PC Dave Cave for all the help from day one when I found Trevor. He's made a very difficult situation a little bit easier.
"I just can't believe that Trevor is gone. I saw him every day and there's not a single day when I don't think of him now."
Trevor's pets, Lucy and Tibby, now live with Pat, her husband Pete and their dog Annie – which Trevor bought his mum as a Mother's Day present seven years ago.
Pat said: "He would text me every day to tell me he loved me. On the day he died, I knew there was something wrong because I hadn't got my text.
"Trevor was shy but he had a lovely nature and anyone who got to know him was better off for it – he was such a caring boy. He would have done anything for his animals and I am just thankful that I still have Lucy, Tibby and Annie to remind me of him every day."
Young people can get information on drugs or help with a drug or alcohol problem from the Young Person's Support Service by calling 01472 326987 or e mailing email@example.com. You can also get useful information online by visiting www.talktofrank.com
For help with drug or alcohol addiction, contact The Junction on Dudley Street, Grimsby, or call them on 01472 240679.