A mum whose son tragically died of a cocaine overdose is warning parents that their child could be next.
Andrea Adamson’s son Adam Cowell died in November last year after taking a lethal amount of cocaine, and his inquest prompted chief coroner Michael Singleton to lift the lid on the ‘epidemic’ numbers of young people dying from the Class A drug in the Hyndburn area.
In a shocking and candid interview with the Observer, Andrea revealed she developed post traumatic stress disorder following the horror of seeing her son dying a hospital bed.
She also lifted the lid on how she has seen dealers operating openly in the street and that her son was able to get cocaine 24 hours a day within minutes of placing an order.
Andrea, 53, also revealed that callous dealers also continued to send group texts advertising the sale of cocaine to Adam’s even after his death.
Qualified accountant Andrea lives on Haworth Street in Oswaldtwistle, just minutes away from the house on Holly Street where 33-year-old Adam lived with his father Anthony.
She has spoken to the Observer in a bid to try to spare other families the torment she has gone through since Adam’s death.
She said: “I wouldn’t want another family to go through what we are still going through at the moment. We are all suffering in silence and none of us have done anything wrong, it’s those people who are selling this filth that are killing these youngsters.
“The ones left behind haven’t taken any drugs but you have to live with the consequences, that’s the most harmful part. If Adam could see us now I know that he wouldn’t want to put any of us through this.”
On the day of Adam’s death on November 29, Andrea had been revising for an exam when her daughter Stephanie interrupted saying, ‘quick, Adam’s heart is not beating’.
Paramedics rushed Adam in an ambulance to Royal Blackburn Hospital and his family followed close behind.
Andrea said: “We were only in hospital five minutes and they said you need to come with us and I knew it was going to be bad, so I didn’t want to go – I couldn’t face it.
“But the nurse said ‘if you don’t come with me now he’s going to die in there on his own’. His shirt was ripped open, tubes coming out of his throat and I wasn’t prepared for that, and that’s the vision that’s stuck in my head. It’s just awful, I am a nervous wreck.”
The 53-year-old says she has since developed post-traumatic stress disorder and is now having to undergo therapy to cope with the flashbacks of Adam’s death, while his father is also suffering with anxiety.
She hopes by telling her story as part of the Observer’s campaign against the use of cocaine people might think twice before taking the drug, which as a result of increasing purity and availability is thought to be more deadly than ever.
Andrea said: “It goes across all the classes and wealth, somehow it’s getting stereotyped as a social thing.
“Adam didn’t realise how serious cocaine was, he just thought we were overreacting. He’d say ‘mum you’d be surprised, everyone takes it’. He thought I was just old fashioned.
"But it’s coming through in a purer form now and I think that’s why there has been so many recent deaths here, people’s bodies can’t deal with it. If we can get the dangers out there, if we can take the attraction out of it eventually the dealers won’t be able to sell it to anybody.”
She added: “It seems normal to these young ones but they need to know what happened to my son, it just dropped him like a lead balloon.
“One moment he was unconscious and then within an hour we were told we weren’t getting him back. It could take anybody and I don’t want another mum to go through that.”