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Office for National Statistics reveals Kent drug-related deaths

Hundreds of people in Kent have died taking illegal substances and the number continues to rise, according to the latest figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows 259 deaths were drug-related in the county and Medway between 2014 and 2016.

That compares to 239 fatalities between 2013 and 2015.

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Robert Fraser
Robert Fraser

The ONS released the figures as a mother of a teenager who died from Fentanyl called for tougher punishments for dealers.

Michelle Fraser spoke to KMTV about the moment she was told her son, 18-year-old Robert, was found dead after taking the powerful drug, said to be 50 times stronger than heroin.

She said: "It was Saturday, November 19, at 9.24am and I was in Primark. My ex-husband called and asked where I was.

"I was expecting him to call me to tell me we'd got an appointment at the job centre for Robert and he said 'I've just walked into Robert's room and found him dead'.

"I just collapsed and fell to the floor. It was five days before my mum's funeral.

Michelle Fraser with her son's ashes
Michelle Fraser with her son's ashes

"When I got to his house the police and paramedics were there, then we had to wait for a sergeant because he'd only just turned 18.

"You don't have to take it [Fentanyl] to die, just handling it can be enough to kill you. It's scary."

Mrs Fraser is in talks with her MP Charlie Elphicke about the issue surrounding convictions for dealers, after launching a campaign to warn of the dangers of the drug.

She added: "We're talking about trying to get a manslaughter charge for people who give drugs to people that cause death.

"I think these people should serve their whole sentence because they are dealing death."

Video: Mum Michelle Parry speaking back in April

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