THE anguished dad of solvent abuse girl Bethany Adcock has urged parents to keep aerosol cans ‘under lock and key’.
Craig Adcock, sobbing at his daughter’s inquest, said: “It has destroyed me.
“No parent should have to go through this.”
Reliving his battle to revive his daughter, he said: “Bethany’s friend called down to us – a harrowing call – and her words still haunt me to this day.
“She said, ‘Come upstairs quick, something really bad has happened to Beth’.
“In pure fear I mounted the stairs three at a time and found Bethany’s face ashen. Her eyes were as far back as they could go.
“I knew we were in trouble, she was so limp.”
Mr Adcock gave his daughter the kiss-of-life and chest compressions while he and wife Michelle waited desperately for paramedics to arrive at their home in Greenhill, Sheffield.
“I did everything possible to get some breath into her and to get a heartbeat,” he said.
Mr Adcock, supported at the inquest by relatives, including Bethany’s grandfather, urged parents to lock household aerosols away from their children.
“Since that fatal day I have been disappointed with society’s perception of solvent abuse – most people my age believe solvents are glues and things like that.
“I have spoken to dozens of parents and kids, and some of Bethany’s friends, and they did not have a clue a household spray can kill you like that. You should keep them under lock and key with your bleach.”
Mr Adcock said Bethany openly admitted experimenting with alcohol at a friend’s party, but never mentioned solvents. “She told us she once had a drink at a friend’s family party – she said she didn’t like it, and as far as I know she only tried it once,” he said.
Paying tribute to her sporting talents, he said: “Bethany was a superb athlete – she played football with Sheffield United Ladies, she ran for her school, she played cricket and she was selected for Yorkshire. She was a great runner, long and short distance.
“She loved life. She didn’t have a care in the world.”
Cath James, Meadowhead headteacher, said: “Our thoughts and prayers remain with Bethany’s family and friends.
“She was a lovely young woman who touched so many lives and it is a tragedy hers ended so prematurely.
“The school held a memorial service for her on the first anniversary of her death last month and, as always, we continue to work with young people in the school community to warn them about the dangers of substance misuse.”
SIGNS OF SOLVENT ABUSE
DRUGS advice charity Talk to Frank said signs of solvent abuse include dizziness, slurred speech, coordination loss, paranoia and anxiety.
Parents may notice white marks on towels, which sniffers use to filter aerosol sprays. Some abusers may have a chemical smell about them, experience a change in appetite, suffer headaches and have persistently runny noses or eye irritations.
The charity said children may start mixing with new friends, suffer moods swings, have an altered sleep pattern, or start experiencing problems at school.
n Talk to Frank helpline: 0800 77 66 00.