20 days after leaving Hope Rehab, Robb Skipper, the Lead singer of The Holloways, dies from an accidental Heroin overdose.
He died after a one off relapse – injecting is so unforgiving when you get it wrong.
At only 28 years old, Robb Skippers death is a timely reminder that no matter how long I work in the business of helping addicts – It is difficult to spot who is, and who is not, going to make it?
Of cause my job can be very rewarding when clients stay clean and sober, however it can be extremely painful when they relapse and die.
Robb had only been using Heroin for 2 years but unfortunately he had quickly moved on to injecting – An intravenous drug user, is in much more danger of dying from an overdose than other types of users.
Robb left Rehab in Thailand full of determination that he would not use again.
On Robb’s last day with us, we had a final counseling session. He was excited too be clean and flying home to the UK to see his baby daughter. He was sincere about putting an end to the devastation his addiction caused.
Addiction is sometimes classified as an illness that compromises the ability to reason rationally – in other words, to make healthy choices.
It produces compulsive behavior, known as powerlessness to recovering addicts.
This distorted thinking sometimes leads to a ‘moment of madness’ – such as the one that killed Rob.
Although Rob was trying very hard he had reservations about being clean – he sabotaged all four of the recent treatment episodes, including the final one with us in Thailand. We decided to give him another chance after he pleaded with us.
I knew Rob had overdosed in the past, he was a high-risk user and I had warned him about returning to injecting.
Once an addict the threat of relapse and death never totally goes away. This is why we attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. This is also why at Hope Rehab the counselors are all X-addicts – Or recovering-addicts as we say. They can best understand and help other addicts.
Rob was overcome by his addiction, as those close to him only new, he had all the classic behavior of an addict. But he was also a softy, a gentle easy going and kindhearted guy.
Sadly his daughter Elizabeth is too young to have her own clear memories of her father, but his music will live on for her.
Cruelly, just when Rob himself felt he was turning a corner, a single bad decision led to this terrible outcome. We were all powerless to do anything about it.
Brighton has a reputation for drug related deaths, it seems to be awash with Heroin – in 2009 it was named as the number one town in UK for drug related deaths, about one a week.
Heroin production is on the increase around the world, it has doubled since 2002.