Facing jail to save your daughter

Andrew Guild reviews “Drugs Despair Deliverance: Operation Osterley” by Perry Jewel — the true story of a parent’s battle to rescue his daughter from a life of drugs, but was charged with kidnapping as a result.

Seeing your teenage or grown-up child become addicted to drugs must be one of the most heart-breaking experiences that a parent can face.

Drugs, Despair Deliverance (DDD) is the true story of one parent who chose to fight for the life of his daughter, rather than let her become lost — and die — in a society that just doesn’t seem to care.

Perry Jewel is not a professionally-paid polished author, but his story is all the more realistic and gripping because of that. His writing style is more reminiscent of a letter written to you by a friend recounting his hard times, or like a retrospective diary account of a man’s battles.

DDD is the tale of a father who, faced with the legally acceptable avenue of letting his child die by drug addiction, instead took the legally unacceptable avenue of forcibly rescuing his daughter to take her to a remote farm to detox her by himself — and thus save her life.

Partly an autobiographical account of a man who has gone through a lot in life, and taken some hard knocks, DDD can alternately be humourous, depressing, and yet inspiring.

Perry’s tales are many and varied, from the time he tries to buy handcuffs (to subdue his drug-addicted daughter) but finds that the retailers assume that he’s into bondage, to the time he bargains with Lebanese crime lords to get his daughter out of Sydney’s King Cross — the crims are not so much moved by a father’s need for help, but rather by the (incorrect) rumours that Perry was connected to MI5, MI6 and the CIA (there are always people who are ready to believe outlandish and stupid rumours — but in this case it was helpful).

With much preparation, including proper advice from a doctor, Perry manages to get his daughter out to an isolated farm and begins the long process of detoxing her. Unfortunately, she later escapes and goes to the police, who then charge him with kidnapping, leading to a long legal fight.

Throughout this story Perry battles sleazy criminals, his daughter (when she is under the influence of drugs), inflexible police, and judicial intolerance. The odds were heavily weighted against him, but he takes them all on with grit and determination.

An appendix offers some solutions to the drug problem and directs those interested to the Addict Association, an anti-drug organisation (www.addictassociation.com).

The solutions offered are well worth considering. For example:

Not to treat drug-taking as a criminal act, but rather to institute a compulsory detox programme, either via the parents or the state.

To treat drug-taking as a disease, rather than a crime, and to open major detox and rehabilitation centres and to offer support for able and willing parents to implement detox at home.

To hit the drug dealers in the hip pocket, to legislate that all debts to convicted drug traffickers are wiped clean, their assests to be seized, and foreign drug pushers to be deported after serving their jail time.

Everyone who is interested in ending drug trafficking should read this.

To quote Mr. Jewel, “This war will not be won by ignorance or apathy. To win this war we will have to fight (and that means ‘attack’) the drug trade in every possible way”.

Drugs Despair Deliverance is available from the author — make cheques and money orders out to Perry Jewel, c/o PO Box 7799, Toowoomba Mail Centre, Toowoomba, Queensland. Contact can also be made by email to: pjbjewell@yahoo.com.au or ph. 0401 163 987 The price is $25 (including postage & handling).

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