Sad death is a reminder about danger of addiction

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

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They are the heartfelt words of a loving sister who is desperate to stop others ending up the way her brother did.

Anne Foster may be mourning the loss of David Sharland following his funeral, but in her grief she wants to use his death as a stark warning to others.

The message is simple: take drugs and you could become another victim like Mr Sharland.

She saw his life ruined because of his drug addiction.

He ended up in prison as he turned to petty crime to fund his habit and the downward spiral culminated tragically in him being found dead in his Gosport flat in October.

An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned, but Mrs Foster is in no doubt what killed him.

She says that she has known for 15 years that Mr Sharland would eventually die from the effects of his drug-taking.

But all her efforts to get him back on the right path couldn’t save him.

She says sadly: ‘I tried helping him and lots of other people he met tried helping him as well, but it never seemed to work.’

In painting a picture of Mr Sharland’s life and how he got into drugs, Mrs Foster illustrates the progression that can take place from so-called ‘soft’ drugs to a Class A substance.

She says: ‘He started with the glue-sniffing in the ‘80s, then the magic mushrooms and then the marijuana before eventually he ended up injecting heroin.’

When she met him last year, thin and gaunt with black teeth, it must have hurt her greatly to see what a dependency on drugs had done to him.

But her thoughts were already on how she could use what had happened to him in a positive way by alerting children to the dangers of drugs.

She says: ‘I would have liked to have taken him round the schools.’

Today Mr Sharland is one more sad statistic, a life taken over and claimed by the evil of drugs.

But if his sister’s determination to get her message across means young people think twice before dabbling in drugs, then his death won’t have been entirely in vain.