Inexcess: In search of recovery

Help and support for people and families
dealing with drug and alcohol problems


Alcohol and drugs in the news

A Parental Point of View

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 A Parental Point of View

In a recent Guardian report Kate Mckenzie speaks out as to why she would like heroin to be prescribed on the NHS. In effect decriminalising long term drug habits.

Kate’s daughter Hannah has been a heroin addict in excess of three years. For Kate who explains “It seemed to me that there is a large sector of society that keeps this pain hidden, too embarrassed to admit to having a drug addict in the family. Somehow, we believe that drug addiction only happens on sink estates in the deprived areas of large cities. But heroin takes no notice of income, class, race or religion. It feeds on vulnerability and that can be found anywhere”.

Moreover, during the past three years spent trying to get help for her daughter she became enmeshed in the most complex, bureaucratic and punitive system involving social services, housing, hospitals and, of course, the police. To someone like Kate, reasonably intelligent, articulate and not off my head on drugs, it was an absolute nightmare to navigate around the system; for a confused addict it was impossible. I spent my days arguing with the various agencies trying to access help and support, and my nights rehearsing my daughter’s funeral in my head. No wonder that after two years I had a breakdown.

This is the reality of what is going on to date and Kate hopes the government will change its policies on drugs in order to protect our vulnerable teenagers from this epidemic and to help those already in its grip.

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