‘He would still be here today’ – family who lost son to heroin demand changes to drug service

Cath and Malcolm Wareing and their daughter Kristy treasure a photograph of David Pace, their son and Kristy's brother.
Cath and Malcolm Wareing and their daughter Kristy treasure a photograph of David Pace, their son and Kristy's brother.
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CATH Wareing, whose son David Pace died aged 26 last April following a heroin overdose, wants to see changes to the way drug users can access help on Wearside.

David, who was dad to Josie, three, had intermittently taken Valium, cocaine and crack cocaine, but although his family insist he wasn’t an addict, they believe he, and many other people in the situation he found himself in, need support quicker to stop their lives being wasted.

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Cath, 48, of Donwell, in Washington, who has set up the Pacey’s Plea Facebook group to help other drug users, said: “Young people don’t know where to turn.

“David had an appointment three days before he died and if he had been offered the chance to go into rehab, he would still be here today.

“I’ve got people approaching me through private messages on Facebook asking for help. When I was trying to get help for David, I was pushed from pillar to post, so no wonder these young people don’t know what to do.

“We are losing a generation of young people here.”

Cath, also mum to Kristy, added: “People portray them all as bad kids but there are a lot of underlying issues, and the help should be there for them.”