THE mother of a heroin addict who lost his life to the drug has been around the globe in a bid to help others steer clear of addiction.
Anne Rogers, of Alton, was asked to facilitate a documentary she created about her late son Ben, who died seven years ago, at the MENAHRA Conference in Beirut.
MENAHRA stands for Middle East and North African Harm Reduction Association and covers 23 countries in the MENA region.
Anne said: "They paid my fare, hotel and all expenses; it was quite an experience being among 250 delegates from this part of the world.
"I was puzzled as to why they felt it necessary to have me there in person, but it is an intolerant society and if their family member falls into addiction they are disowned completely.
"It is especially shameful if it is a female because she invariably goes into prostitution to fund the habit."
The conference is endeavouring to gain human rights for the addict.
At present they have no access to medical care and if they go to prison, even as young as 14, they are unable to access education or work ever again and are 'blacklisted'.
They are also experiencing an increase in AIDS and HIV, at the second fastest rate internationally, a problem exacerbated by addicts not having access to clean needles.
Anne added: "For me it was a real education, but I marvel that Ben's story, seven years down the line, can relate to so many different cultures across the world.
"Sad to say that while I was in Beirut was a World News story that Helman Province had its biggest poppy yield ever this year and that supply now far outstrips the world's demand."
See the full documentary featuring Ben's Story using this link