Parents' plea after son's drugs death

Like many teenagers, Michael Lane was tempted into trying cannabis.

But over the next 10 years his drug-taking began to spiral out of control until he died from an overdose at the age of just 26.

Now his distraught parents are warning youngsters not to follow their son down the same path.

Dad Terry Lane, of Nobes Avenue, in Bridgemary, Gosport, said he was forced to watch his son slowly 'self-destruct'.

'It started with cannabis but, as it often does, led onto other things pretty quickly,' he said.

'As time went by he got a dependency and he couldn't go out without taking drugs.

'I felt powerless to it.

'As parents, to watch your son slowly self-destruct was very painful, he lost hope in the world around him.

'Some people take drugs for a bit of a giggle but he was taking drugs to nullify the pain in life.

'He was taking these drugs and developed a death wish, he didn't want to live and he carried that with him for years.

'He would talk from the bottom of his heart and you can only sit and listen and offer security and say that he has parents and that there is always a home to go to.'

Michael's parents say he was a quiet child who found it difficult to socialise and make friends.

But at 16 he got in with the wrong crowd and began smoking cannabis.

He soon regularly started taking harder drugs such as ecstasy, amphetamines and heroin.

At the age of 18, Michael found himself unemployed, mixing with heroin addicts and getting into trouble with police.

After a decade of drug abuse he overdosed on methadone at his Gosport flat.

Mr Lane, who has seven children, including Michael, with wife Karen, 45, said his son was always quite shy and introvert.

He believes his son only started experimenting with drugs to fit in.

'He wanted to have a career in art but he started to realise that there was no future with that and he couldn't be the person that he wanted to be,' he said.

'Slowly but surely he felt there was nothing for him.

'When he was leaving school he started taking drugs for confidence to show others that he could be cool.

'The sad fact is that the drugs gave him confidence.'

Mr Lane said he hoped his son's death would act as a deterrent to other youngsters thinking of trying drugs or who are already involved.

'I would say to young people "consider just why you are doing it". Is it because of recreation or stress?

'The best thing to do is to stay positive, life is always worth it,' he said.

'I believe that there is a God and people should have faith in life.

'If you stay positive you will always find a way.

'The main help they need is to see a realistic career and to see a future.

'People need to realise that the reason people take drugs – and young people need to realise it themselves – is confidence.

'I would say to young people that my heart and hand goes out to them.'

CAUTIONARY TRAGEDIES

Michael's parents are not the first to speak out after the death of a child through drug-taking.

In 1995 Leah Betts, died after taking an ecstasy tablet on her 18th birthday and her parents have since been campaigning to highlight the dangers of drugs. Paul and Janet Betts have campaigned for better education about drug abuse and have talked in schools and distributed a video called 'Sorted' about Leah's story and ecstasy.

Although an inquest found Leah had not died directly from ecstasy, but from drinking a large quantity of water to counteract the drug's dehydrating effects, her death has served to highlight the effects of drug-taking.

DAY BEGAN WITH VODKA AND ENDED WITH DRUGS

Michael Lane, was found dead in bed at his home in Wilmott Lane, Gosport, after he had taken a cocktail of methadone, diazepam and alcohol.

An inquest into his death found that he had taken a fatal amount of methadone and was found dead by his girlfriend.

The court heard how on April 15 this year the 26-year-old had began his day by drinking vodka before going to the Green Dragon pub in Gosport where he had a pint of Stella and took some methadone.

Later at night he had gone to bed after taking more methadone and had also taken diazepam before going to sleep.

The court heard how his partner, Michelle Crips, dialled 999 after finding him dead.

A toxicology report found that he had alcohol in his blood as well as anti-depressants and 181 units of methadone – a fatal amount.

Michael had previously tried to take his own life twice before – in 2004 and in 2007.

But Robert Stone, deputy coroner for Portsmouth and south east Hampshire, recorded his death as accidental. He said: 'I think in the circumstances of Michael's death I will give a verdict of accidental death.

'There is nothing to suggest that he intended to do this, he just didn't realise what was happening.

'He took too much of both substances and didn't know what he was doing.'

'I HAD A DEEP SENSE OF INADEQUACY...'

Michael Lane wrote several poems and songs that were recorded onto a tape and found in his flat after he died.

His parents used this song below at his funeral to give Michael a voice as to how he had been feeling.

They believe it was written some time in the last year.

Michael's song

I had a deep sense of inadequacy.

I had a deep sense of inadequacy rooting me down.

I used to be keen to learn the meaning of life.

I used to feel so awkward and shy. In the presence of certain people I would see as supreme. I'd become all dazed and I couldn't speak.

I had a deep sense of inadequacy rooting me down.

I was confused and wrapped in self doubt.

I used to see a certain type of person as supreme and in their presence I'd become all dazed and I couldn't speak.

I had a deep sense of inadequacy rooting me down.

I tried many times and I failed many times.

I'll keep on trying. I'll try and try again until the time comes that I can begin.

I remember losing all notion of what I would be doing. I used to lose control.

I had a problem. It was personal and although I may of changed in many ways, ultimately my dilemmas are much the same.

I can't get out of my cell and in my mind I can't get out of my cell.

It may be personal but I've got to express myself. I've been going through hell.

I've got a purpose. I want to turn the inside out.

I had a deep sense of inadequacy rooting me down.

I was perceiving a certain type of person to be supreme. That was just a dream.