THE family of a young man who died after attempting to satisfy his growing tolerance to drugs has pleaded with other users to seek help.

Jonathan Dickinson, known to his friends and family as Jonno, died on December 20 in 2017. He was just 31.

The dad-of-two came from a typically normal, loving family; he grew up loving football and dreamed of working with cars.

But in 2012 he became involved with people who used heroin and over the years, as his tolerance to the drug grew, he began self-prescribing and supplementing his heroin use with methadone and diazepam, an inquest was told.

His death was caused by respiratory depression - the cumulative effects of the individual drugs caused his central nervous system to shut down and he fell asleep never to regain consciousness.

Mum Linda and sister Sharon broke down in tears as an inquest into Mr Dickinson’s death heard how police had found his body on the settee of his Egerton Court flat.

Speaking after the inquest at the family home in Severn Road on Walney stepfather Ken Charnley said the family had not been aware of the extent of Mr Dickinson’s abuse of drugs.

The family urged addicts to be more honest about their problems and to seek help before it is too late.

“If I could speak to Jonno now?” Mr Charnley pondered.

“I’d tell him ‘drugs destroy lives, drugs destroy families’, I’d just tell him he needs to get help.”

Mum Linda added: “Any parent will know; you never stop loving your children, it’s unconditional. I just wish he’d come to us and we’d been able to help him.”

When he first confided to his mum he had started taking heroin she “didn’t believe him”, she recalls.

“He was so well-liked, so easy-going and such a happy lad,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe he had got involved in heroin.

"We knew he’d had a bit of cannabis, and taken amphetamine on a night out, and it’s so frightening to think how easily he got into heroin and how it can so quickly take hold of someone, someone normal.”

The mother of Mr Dickinson’s son Jacob, 10, sent a tribute. 

“It’s so sad that his addiction changed him so much and caused the breakdown in his relationship with Jacob. 

“It’s heartbreaking that he will never get the chance to put this right now as he doted on Jacob when he was younger. It’s such a shame things have ended this way.”

In the days before his death, Mr Dickinson’s ex-girlfriend Kelsey Knibbs, with whom he has a three-year-old daughter, told the inquest she had maintained regular contact with him as Egerton Court became gripped by a spate of drug-related deaths.

Ms Knibbs revealed he had been taking up to 20 diazepam tablets a day.

“I was concerned for him as a couple of our friends had died in the previous week on Egerton Court,” she said in a statement read out to the hearing.

Assistant Coroner Paul O’Donnell concluded Mr Dickinson’s death was drug-related.