For anyone who has managed to successfully overcome an addiction, the fear of a drug or alcohol relapse will forever loom in the background; some will succumb to it while others will remain abstinent. As long as the individual feels fully supported, it can be easier to stay away from the substance that they were dependent on for so long.
The recent closure of a rehabilitation centre in Glasgow has sparked concerns that former addicts who used the services here may fall victim to a relapse and turn back to drugs as a way to cope.
A much-loved rehabilitation centre in Easterhouse, Glasgow has closed its doors for good after seventeen years of supporting those suffering alcohol and drug addictions. A peaceful protest took place outside the centre on the morning of its closure to highlight the disapproval of all those who were receiving help here and those who have been treated here in the past. The recovery service was run by local social work services as well as the founders of the project, Mothers Against Drugs (MAD); MAD was originally started over two decades ago after the tragic death of thirteen-year-old Allan Harper who died in his home.
MAD member, Linda McKay, said, “We never eradicated the problem in our area, but it certainly cleaned the area up because they suddenly disappeared from the streets — they weren’t doing the wheeling and dealing in public. The aim was to get them drug-free and back to work and back into civilisation.”
Linda was dubbed ‘Scotland’s Bravest Mum’ by Best Magazine fifteen years ago and has continued her work of trying to help those who are suffering from alcohol and drug addictions and give these people the utensils and support to overcome their addiction. However, in November 2016, the team were told that the service would be shutting down as the council planned to create new hubs around Glasgow to help those with addiction issues.
Concerned Linda believes that users may suffer from a drug or alcohol relapse after the closure and could be pushed back towards a life of addiction. She said, “Two clients came to my house to let me know New Horizons was shutting down — I nearly had a heart-attack. I never believed in my lifetime that it would shut down. What happens if maybe next Wednesday they decide to take heroin and it’s the wrong bag and they’re dead — who’s going to be responsible for that life?”
Glasgow City Council has responded by insisting that addicts in Glasgow will still receive that all-important support which they so desperately need, even though the centre will be closing.
A spokesperson for Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership said, “All staff at New Horizons have been redeployed within the north-east addictions services. All service users previously attending at New Horizons have had their care needs assessed and are continuing to receive support from north-east services. This follows a decision taken last June to reform the community rehab system to ensure greater access to support and a greater focus on the recovery of those affected by addiction. There is now also a greater role in community rehab for recovery communities, a peer support system that was called for by service users. The clients will be reassessed and put through the recovery hub system. There’s no loss of staff, and everyone who needs help will receive it through North East addiction services.”
Many current and former users of the service have expressed their anger towards the closure of the centre. Some have taken to social media sites such as Facebook to explain just how much the group has affected theirs and their loved one’s lives in an attempt to reverse the decision. John Tominey is a former alcohol and drug addict who used the service to overcome his severe addiction; as soon as he heard the news of the closure, he immediately started a change.org e-petition, which he hoped to put forward to the government. The petition proved to be popular as it received 848 signatures. John wrote a touching piece on the page that read: “I lost my wife two years ago to cancer. I hit the drink and drugs, tried to commit suicide, was in Parkhead hospital a few times, so I went to new horizons rehab. I am now fourteen months sober and in full-time employment.”
John is so passionate about saving the group as he knows just how devastating an addiction can be. He also shares the same fears as Linda, that vulnerable individuals may fall back into a downward spiral of alcohol and drugs after having a drug or alcohol relapse.
You may have concerns about a loved one as he or she could appear to be suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. If so, please get in touch with us here at Addiction Helper. We work alongside a selection of the UK’s top recovery clinics, which can assist first time users, those who have fallen victim to drug or alcohol relapse, or even those who have suffered from a long-term addiction. We aim to ensure that anyone who enters our clinic with an addiction leaves without one and goes on to lead a happy, sober life afterwards. If you have any queries or would like any further information, then do not hesitate to contact us and we will assist you in any way that we can.
Source: Glasgow drug rehab centre New Horizon to close after 17 years (Glasgow Live)