Drug addiction in the UK costs lives, increases crime rates, and destroys families. In 2018, the UK recorded a staggering 4,359 drug related deaths; a huge increase of 17 percent from 2016, and the numbers have been rising steadily since.
With an already overwhelmed NHS, those affected by drug abuse rely on the UK’s 20+ addiction charities for help and support. Problems range from cultivating cannabis for personal use and leading to crime, to devastating long term health issues. In this article, we’ll look at eight reasons why you should support drug addiction charities in 2022.
Why should you support drug addiction charities?
For somebody who is in the grip of drug addiction, it can be almost impossible to pull themselves out. Instead, the sufferer finds themselves needing more and more of the drug in order to feel ‘normal’ and keep painful withdrawal symptoms away.
Unfortunately, without outside help, the end result may be an untimely death. Drug addiction charities work with addicts and their families in order to find a solution and reverse the cycle of addiction. Sometimes this will be as simple as counselling and, in other more serious cases, a more extreme solution such as a stay at a rehabilitation centre.
Removing pressure off the NHS
In 2022, we don’t need reminding that the NHS is under a huge amount of pressure in terms of finance and staffing. This has meant that the organisations resources are stretched thinner than ever before. Unfortunately, this means that drug addicts often face long waits when they’re looking for help.
Drug addiction charities help to pick up the slack by providing fast help to drug addicts, thereby helping sufferers at the same time as helping to ease the burden placed on the NHS.
Saving people from criminal activity
One of the big problems with drug addiction is that sufferers need to constantly feed their addiction – and it doesn’t come cheap. Unfortunately, this means that many resort to crime in order to pay for their drugs, and such criminal activity includes theft, home invasion, mugging and drug dealing.
Drug addiction charities can help to cut down on criminal activity by helping addicts to sign up to medical programs which facilitate a withdrawal from addiction through a prescription of a replacement, such as methadone.
Reducing the need for a drug economy
Illegal cultivation of cannabis is big business in the UK. In 2021, over 490,254 cannabis plants were seized by police in raids on farms and homes. For every addict steered away from drugs by a drug addiction charity, there’s one less customer for these illegal cannabis farmers; which is good news for our health, our children and our economy.
Helping families of addicts
Watching a loved one suffer through the endless cycle of drug addiction can be absolutely heartbreaking and, often, families of addicts have no idea where to turn for help. Drug addiction charities work closely with the families and loved ones of addicts to provide support and guidance in an efficient and non-judgmental way. These charities provide a vital lifeline for family members who often have no knowledge or experience of drug addiction.
Helping re-entry into society
For an addict, quitting drugs is only half the battle. During the throes of addiction, the sufferer will often have disconnected from all societal connections such as work, friendships, and social occasions. Part of the work of a drug addiction charity is to facilitate the re-entry into society, including helping the sufferer to find work and to take other steps toward regaining a productive and contented life.
Providing rooms for addicts
In connection with the previous point, drug addicts tend to flock together through a mutual understanding of the need for drugs. As such, many drug addicts tend to live together in shared flats or squats.
For the recovering drug addict, living in an environment where others are taking drugs is, of course, less than ideal. Drug charities will prioritise finding new accommodation for sufferers in order to remove them from an unhealthy environment, and to give them a better chance of succeeding in staying away from drugs.
Kicking the habit for life
The goal of a drug addiction charity is to help sufferers to kick their habit – but their work doesn’t stop there. These charities also provide a huge amount of after care and education services to former drug addicts to help support them as they embark on a new, drug-free life; without which, there is a very real danger of relapse.
Want to support a drug addiction charity?
Drug addiction tears at the very fabric of our society and causes poverty, illness, and death for thousands of people every year. From so called milder drugs, such as cannabis, to potentially lethal substances like heroin and methamphetamine, too many lives are wasted by substance abuse in the UK.
Charities such as Beating Addictions and Cocaine Anonymous UK provide vital services to addicts and their families as well as connecting communities. If you are looking for a charity to support in 2022, you can do no better than choosing a hard-working drug addiction charity which works tirelessly to free people of this devastating condition.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.