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'Hedonistic' culture blamed in drug death

June 3, 2011 at 4:00 PM

BRISTOL, England, June 3 (UPI) -- The deputy head of a British school says he blames a "hedonistic and destructive" drug culture in nightclubs for the death of his 16-year-old son from ecstasy.

Tom Simons of Prior Park College in Bath said his son Joe was underage and should not have been allowed entry to a nightclub where it is believed he bought ecstasy before he died, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Joe Simons was allegedly allowed into a Bristol nightclub even though he had no valid identification, the newspaper said.

"Joe should never have been allowed admittance to the nightclub that night and had his ID been checked it would have been very clear that he was underage," Tom Simons said.

"Joe died, in part, because the system failed to protect him that night and it seems to me that this is, at least in part, due to indifference to the hedonistic and destructive culture of drug-taking that seems to be more and more a routine part of nightlife for young people in our society."

The 16-year-old collapsed and was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary after reportedly taking ecstasy in powder form April 30.

He died May 2.

"He was not a drug addict," his father said. "It was quite possibly the first time he had tried that [ecstasy]. Joe was just an ordinary 16-year-old boy."

The death has been investigated but no arrests had been made, Avon and Somerset police said.

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