Family share story of loved ones battle with drugs in hope of helping others

Following the death of her son, Simon Hooper, Tina Drake has released a poem he wrote whilst in prison at 5.30am which shares insight into his battle with drugs. The poem was read at his funeral and provoked much emotion from all. Tina and her sister Julia Gear hope that by releasing the poem and sharing his story that other people who are in a similar situation will be inspired to find help. Or that people who have family members or friends who have problems with their drug and/or alcohol use will realise that there is also help available for them. They are determined to achieve something positive in memory of Simon.

From an early age Simon experienced behavioural difficulties, he started to use drugs at a young age which sadly lead him to spend most of his adult life in and out of prison.

Sadly Simon passed away earlier this year, a day before his 38th Birthday As soon as Tina learnt that he had died the poem, written 10 years ago, immediately came into her mind. She said “I just knew straight away that I had to find the poem, because it was so relevant.” She now hopes that the poem could inspire others to find help.

In the UK 38% of people know someone with problematic drug use1 but it is rarely spoken about. Tina and Julia hope that the poem will get people talking about the issues surrounding substance misuse and in turn inspire people to get help to make positive changes.

After finding out that help is available for families from local drug and alcohol services, such as EDP, they are both keen that family members would also be more aware of the support that is available for them. “You don’t need to go through this alone, there are support groups and people who have gone through similar things.”

Tina commented about the poem “if it would get somebody to turn a corner, take a different path. If it just hits home and helps one person. Then that would be wonderful.”

Julia commented “In legacy of my nephew, even if one person takes heed, we will have achieved our goal”

Tina and Julia spoke to BBC Radio Solent on Monday 21st November along with Theresa Oliveira Meneses from EDP Dorset.

Hear what Tina and Julia said here:


Hear what Theresa said here:


An Angel do Send

My demons all wake me, now everyday!
And I plead with the devil to chase them away.
He pretends to be helpful, makes out he’s my friend.
Although, he’s the one that brings my dreams to an end.
I wait for an angel to fight my demons instead.
A guardian to put all my nightmares to bed.
Life’s not all easy, it’s a challenge to breathe,
The devil he knows this, and he tempts me to leave.
He pushes his poison right into my heart.
Ripping and tearing my body apart!!
And now that the poison has entered my brain,
His way of keeping my soul locked in chains –
Because now without him, I’m riddled with pains;
Watching my life as its sucked down the drains!
I live by the minute, I’m working for him;
A slave to the powder – I take for my sins.
A powder named “H”, “the gear” or “the smack”,
When I can escape it, I’ll never look back!
I’ll run for my life, and hide for my soul.
Live how I want to, and reach for my goals.
I know I can do it, I’ve done it before;
When I felt so much better, not rich – but not poor!
My days we’re simple, I loved who I was too,
And if I love me, I can also love you!!
So God if you hear me, don’t take too long;
The devil is winning, he’s goading me on –
Send me an angel, who’s fearless and strong
To help me do Good, and forgive me my wrong!!

© Simon Hooper, 5.30am, 17th June 2006

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