Heroin victim’s sister urges openness on addiction

Death of 'the most loving, trustworthy person' after a suspected accidental heroin overdose prompts calls for greater discussion of addiction within the community


The family of a 35-year-old father of three who died from a suspected accidental heroin overdose want to honour his memory by increasing discussion about addiction within the Jewish community.

Simon Gold from Hove died in June after a 10-year battle with heroin addiction. The qualified personal trainer and devoted Spurs fan had been due to travel home from a rehabilitation facility in Preston.

His sister Liz, 39, has set up the Simon Gold Jewish Recovery Page on Facebook to encourage those fighting addiction to share their experiences and offer advice.

“Simon was just the most loving, trustworthy person,” Ms Gold said. “He always wanted to help other people. He was like a second father to my children and I was blessed to be his sister.

“When he passed away it was terrible. Mum and Dad were devastated.

“If some good is going to come out of this, it should be to encourage others who are going through this to get help.

“We want to carry this message to a lot of people. It could save lives.”

Lubavitch Brighton’s Rabbi Pesach Efune had become close to Mr Gold and was “absolutely devastated” by his death.

“Simon was a lovely, kind-hearted person,” he said. “He obviously had his challenges and he struggled time and time again to overcome them.

“He always wanted to please people. He wanted to make others happy.

“Obviously there still is a taboo in the Jewish community about identifying somebody in your family as someone who struggles with addiction.

“But by bringing it into the open, it will make people feel they are not alone. There are many, many individuals and organisations who want to help.”

A GoFundMe page has also been set up in Mr Gold’s memory and his sister will be running a half-marathon in February for drug addiction charities.




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