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  1. ITV Report

Calls for change in Government treatment of drug addictions

Chris' wife Aimi says living with his drug habit in secrecy caused him to take a fatal overdose. Photo: ITV News

A mother from Bath is calling for a change in the Government's drug policy and how authorities approach the use of illegal drugs after her husband died of a heroin overdose.

114
people died as a result of drugs in the West Country last year
59
people died as a result of drugs in Devon and Cornwall last year
30%
increase in the number of drug deaths compared to 2015
Chris Garidis died while on a work trip in Barcelona following a long-term addiction to valium. Credit: ITV News

Chris Garidis died while on a work trip in Barcelona following a long-term addiction to valium.

His wife Aimi says living with his drug habit in secrecy, and being unable to obtain the help he needed caused him to take a fatal overdose.

Chris was one of the most sensitive and just thoughtful, wonderful people that I've ever met.

Most of the time we were just a normal family and that's what's so frustrating.

We were together for 11 years and our life was - on the outside - the perfect family. But of course inside Chris was struggling.

– Aimi Garidis, Chris' wife
Chris and Aimi were together for 11 years before Chris' death. Credit: ITV News

Chris had previously been diagnosed with anxiety, and his wife Aimi believes that he was self medicating with Valium.

Chris went to Barcelona for a work trip. When he got there he managed to obtain some illegal heroin.

He went back to his hotel room on his own, took a small amount and it killed him.

My whole world fell apart. Losing your best friend, your soulmate, the person that can make you laugh like no other person, it's just devastating. Having to tell my daughter, even though she's only one and a half you have to tell her not knowing what she understands. But I knew that life would never be the same for either of us.

We lived our life in terms of his addiction in secrecy because society just doesn't accept that if you've got an addiction they just treat it as a criminal issue rather than a medical issue - which is what it is.

– Aimi Garidis, Chris' wife
Chris and Aimi had one daughter together. Credit: ITV News

I don't want Chris to have died for no reason. I want to break down the barriers so I want the stigma to be reduced, and I also want there to be legal reform so that the drugs become safe. I want the government to listen. I want my story to make a difference.

– Aimi Garidis, Chris' wife

You can watch Aimi's full story below:

If you need to talk to someone about drug addiction, visit any of the below websites: