‘We’re dropping like flies’: The harsh reality drug addicts face with no access to help

by | Oct 9, 2019 | Articles

ITV News Correspondent John Ray has produced a Video report on the harsh reality drug addicts face with no access to help.

Darren wipes a tear from his eye and wonders aloud how long he has left. “How many drug addicts do you know in their fifties?”

It’s not a question that requires an answer. Statistics tell us that across Europe, one in three drug-related deaths takes place in Britain.

Darren is 47- years-old but his face is an alarming portrait of years wasted on heroin and crack. This summer he was offered a lifeline. A place at a rehabilitation centre – Broadreach House in Plymouth, his hometown.

“When I was waiting for my drug worker to confirm the day I would enter I found out they’d gone into administration,” he says. I ask him if there’s any chance he can stay away from drugs without help. “Impossible,” he replies. “Being an addict is not a nice place.”

Some understatement. He looks desolate.

Broadreach closed its doors in July. So too a sister organisation, Longreach House, which helped women.

Chrissy Goodenough was the last client to leave. She fought her drug demons for years and ended up living on the streets before she finally found the help she needed. “We felt betrayed,” she says. “I was so angry, I almost relapsed.”

“There were ladies there who hadn’t been in there so long and one-by-one I saw them fall apart. And it was really sad.” Four months on and Chrissy is slowly rebuilding her life. She’s still clean. Hers is a success story.

But for one friend, out of the care of Longreach, the struggle was too hard. She relapsed and then overdosed.

“It’s the grim reality,” she says. “People die.”Drug addiction touches more people in Britain than ever. But users don’t naturally arouse public sympathy.

Perhaps that explains why, in harsh economic times, so many local councils have cut services designed to help them.

Watch the Full Video Report at https://www.itv.com/news/2019-10-08/we-re-dropping-like-flies-the-harsh-reality-drug-addicts-face-with-no-access-to-help/