Mother of ‘diazepam’ victim Dale Bone speaks out on deadly danger of pills

A mother who lost her youngest son to substance abuse has spoken of the hell her family are enduring as a consequence of drug addiction.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 5:32 pm
Mrs Ruth Bone at her home in Shearwater Way with a picture of her son Dale who died from substance abuse earlier this year. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2137GS – 030

Dale Bone was only 30 years of age when he was found dead in his room on May 8 of this year.

His mother Ruth believes he was the victim of a bad batch of ‘diazepam’ tablets in circulation in the city at the time although the family are still awaiting a coroner’s report on his death.

Almost five months after the tragic passing of the young father-of-two Ruth is speaking out to raise awareness about the potentially lethal consequences of consuming ‘street benzos’ or ‘blues’ as they are known colloquially.

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“Normally two ‘diazepam’ tablets would have been like two paracetamol tablets to Dale because of his use.

“This was lethal stuff. I know he is not the first person over the summer to have died because of it and some of the people who died he knew them.”

Ruth used to warn Dale he was playing Russian roulette by consuming street drugs that were possibly contaminated and unregulated in terms of their potency.

“Towards the end I used to say to Dale, ‘do you realise you could die from these?’ He said, ‘Mum, I could step out in front of a car tomorrow. I have an addiction’.

“I told him I understood that but that he had children, he had me, he had so much going for him in his life and that he didn’t need these pills. But he would only say that I didn’t know what it was like not to have them.

“Maybe I was naive. When I thought about somebody who had a drug addiction I thought about people who broke into houses, who looked rough, but some of these people who are drug addicts have a family behind them who are trying to help them.

“They are not being shoved out the door and told we don’t want to know you.”

Ruth is supportive of the campaign for a detoxification centre for Derry.

“I would be all for a detox centre. I have seen people who have gone through a detox and are doing amazingly but you could have had seven of those in the city and Dale Bone wouldn’t have gone. That person has to want the services of a detox centre.

“I can only say, as a mother, it was easier burying him than watching him.

“As my eldest son said, ‘The way I see it there is a heaven and a hell.Dale has lived in hell this pastsix months. He is in heaven now’.

“Earth was hell for Dale coming near the end. It was hell. A week after he died he would have been 31.”