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Pills made life hell for my girl; Mum blasts temazepam pushers after 33-year-old's suicide.

Byline: By PETER TAYLOR

A GRIEVING mother today blamed small-time pillpushers for fuelling her daughter's drug addiction.

As a teenager, Christina Reed was a bright and vivacious girl who was always close to her mum.

But she experimented with temazepam, and the tablets became an addiction that turned the life of the single mother of two in to a living hell which ended tragically in suicide at the age of just 33.

Christine, known as Tina, died from an overdose of prescribed antidepressants and beta-blocker tablets.

But an inquest in to her death heard how temazepam had blighted her life, and her last months had been unhappy ones as she was shunned by neighbours on her Cramlington housing estate.

Her mother, Sylvia, 61, who also lives in Cramlington, told the inquest how she was preyed on by pill-pushers who knew she would buy temazepam off them at pounds 2 a tablet.

Mrs Reed said: "From being a teenager she experimented with it. People supply temazepam on just about every estate in Cramlington.

"They get the prescription for themselves and they move them on for money. People used to ring her and ask her if she wanted them.

"They were feeding her addiction. She was ill. She was vulnerable and they continued feeding the addiction.

"I am enraged at these people getting away with this. They are not really drug dealers per se. They are people looking for a few quid."

Mrs Reed said her daughter, who lived in Adderstone Avenue, was ostracised by her neighbours after one of them found out last year that she had an addiction problem.

"It all started to go very wrong then for Tina," she said. "She shared her feelings with me about this every day. She was very ashamed of her addiction.

"She wasn't coping with people not being friendly. She didn't have a social life at all. She was never out of the house."

Pathologist Dr David Smith said a post mortem had shown the cause of death to be a drugs overdose of two types of tablets she had been prescribed - antidepressants and betablockers.

She had been admitted to hospital and died when her heart stopped beating properly, which pointed to the antidepressants being the principal cause, followed possibly by the beta-blockers.

The inquest heard Christina had left a note and a suicide verdict was recorded. Police inquiries revealed she had been addicted to temazepam for 12 years.

Mrs Reed added: "As a teenager she was very buoyant. She had a certain confidence. She had style and she was also beautiful.

"She was vulnerable and it got the better of her."

Cramlington Neighbourhood Insp

Janice Hutton said: "We will not tolerate drug dealing of any kind and run regular operations to tackle this issue. In the past month alone, we have executed three warrants which have led to arrests and the seizure of drugs.

"In order to help officers to tackle problems in Cramlington, it is vital the public contact us and I would encourage people to ring the police through the Neighbourhood Team at Cramlington on (01661) 861 843 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with any information which may help us."

CAPTION(S):

TERRIBLE LOSS: Christina's mother Sylvia; VULNERABLE: Christina Reed took temazepam 12 for years
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2008
Words:546
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