Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

‘Things are good now’

The Guardian has a piece about Addaction which touches on the issues thrown up by Hidden Harm:

Rachel’s life imploded eight years ago when she was introduced to heroin as a way of dealing with some of the particularly nasty problems life was throwing at her. “Everything seemed to go away when I used it,” she says. Things descended into chaos.

Her daughter Anna was then two. She never saw Rachel inject herself, but was certainly familiar with the kit a heroin user needs. Increasingly, drugs eroded Rachel’s will to mother her child. “Getting heroin became the be-all and end-all of my life. If I had no heroin, I wouldn’t get up to take Anna to school. I was doing nothing with her. She would just have to look after herself till I got the next fix.”

The report goes on to look at the wider picture:

The project [Addaction’s Breaking the Cycle] is a response to 11 recommendations made by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in its 2003 report Hidden Harm, issued after the council held an inquiry into the situation of British children living with parents or guardians whose drug use is badly affecting the family. The council found that only 5% of children at risk from their parents’ drug habit came to the attention of care workers – yet children living in these conditions often sustain profound life-long damage.

Addaction adds its own list of chilling facts: a child is more likely to use drugs if the parents are users; Britain has more drug users aged 15 and 16 than any other European country; 6% of Britain’s 11-year-olds say they have used drugs.

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Filed under: ACMD, Hidden Harm, illegal drugs

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