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Friday, 22 March, 2002, 12:59 GMT
Mother's fears for three heroin daughters
Dodd daughte
Blighted by heroin: The Dodd daughters as children
A mother of four has spoken of her anger and pain after three of her daughters became hooked on heroin.

Theresa Dodd is desperately worried for one of her children, Angelica, 21, who is living rough and begging for the money to pay for her next fix of the drug.

Her family's plight highlights growing concern that heroin, once associated with deprived urban areas, has made in-roads into middle-class Britain.

I fear being one of those women that talks after their child's death

Theresa Dodd
Mrs Dodd is a nurse and her husband, Charles, a partner is a London solicitors' firm.

The family live in the Kent town of Tunbridge Wells, which has become a by-word for respectability and conservative values. Yet its streets are also home to Angelica, who Mrs Dodd fears could by killed by her addiction.

"I'm so frightened, so angry and upset that there isn't anything any of us can do," she said.

"I fear being one of those women that talks after their child's death."

Shocking pictures

Her outpouring of grief follows the high-profile case of Rachel Whitear and that of Rebecca Maynard, 20, who was found dead in the genteel town of Henley-on-Thames. Both died of heroin overdoses.

Rachel Whitear
This picture of Rachel Whitear provoked Mrs Dodd to speak out
Miss Whitear, who had dropped out of university and went to live in Exmouth with her boyfriend, died aged 21.

Her mother, Pauline Holcroft, hit the headlines in February, when she decided to release shocking police pictures of Rachel's bruised and heroin-ravaged body taken at the scene of her death.

Mrs Dodd's said the story had prompted her to speak out.

"I want to tell the whole world. I'm really bleeding on the inside. You cannot see the bleeding but I'm bleeding from stress."

Warning to parents

One of her daughters, Antonia, 30, is recovering after she quit heroin a year ago. Another, Thomasina, is also battling to stay off the drug.

Antonia Dodd warned all parents that upbringing and class were no indication of whether their children would turn to drugs.

"Being convinced that your child is not taking drugs does not mean that your child is not taking drugs," she told BBC South East Today.

"People from all different backgrounds do it."

Looking for support

Mrs Dodd has received moral support from her local church, but said she would like to see a local support agency to help parents in her predicament.

Hugo Luck, south east regional manager for the National Treatment Agency, says drug addiction spans the whole class system: "There is a growing amount of use not just in the inner cities.

"This is a problem throughout the country, regardless of [affluence]."

See also:

01 Mar 02 | Education
Heroin victim's death used as warning
01 Mar 02 | Education
'Our decision over addict daughter'
14 Oct 98 | Medical notes
Heroin: The facts
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