With countless individuals across the UK falling victim to addiction, there is a real need for more funding to go into drug and alcohol research as well as opening more treatment clinics; treatment clinics where addicts can go through addiction detox in a safe environment. However, many local council authorities across the country are looking to cut budgets, which is exactly the opposite of what is desperately needed. If budget cuts carry on, it could mean that many rehabilitation clinics across the UK face shutting down as a result, which means less help for those who need it at a time when we need more instead.

One particular area in which the local council is planning to decrease funds to drug and alcohol services is Staffordshire. Protesters have taken to the streets outside the council building to show their dissatisfaction with this as well as to plead for the plans to be scrapped.

Crucial Support

A large group of protesters gathered outside Staffordshire County Council just before a full council meeting was due to take place after concerns were raised about funding cuts for drug and alcohol services across the county. Among the campaigners were service users and volunteers who stood outside County Buildings in Martin Street; the main aim of the campaign was to address how these budget cuts would affect a popular rehabilitation centre in the area, which provides crucial support to many individuals across the county.

Graham Mitchell presented a petition to the authority that called for the council to discard its plans to cut the funding; however, Mr Mitchell’s pleas fell on deaf ears and the council made a unanimous decision to continue with its plans to reduce budgets and try to get other organisations to ‘help out’ instead.

Indirectly Involved with Addiction

Mr Mitchell was a former addict himself and is now a representative for the addiction clinic in the area, which desperately needs that funding. He said, “Everyone in this room has probably been indirectly involved with addiction in some way. I was an addict for several years. In just two years of that, £200,000 was spent on me by authorities dealing with my addiction. I reached a point where I was given eight weeks to live before my life-saving decision to get help by BAC.”

Devastating Effects

“I appreciate the council has had severe fiscal measures imposed. However, loss of funding to this service will have devastating effects. Without it, there will be an influx of addicts draining services further. Social services will have nowhere to refer to, it will be hard to get doctors’ appointments as addicts flood the surgeries, paramedics will have to prioritise them, imagine the anger from people with relatives left in hospital as addicts have to be treated first,” he added.

“Undoubtedly, these services are vital. But we have a balancing act with having to provide other services. We are not withdrawing funding altogether, but we have to reduce it. We have to get other organisations involved and investing,” said cabinet member, councillor Alan White in response.

Severity of Impact

Many people completely underestimate the severity of the impact that would come into play if budgets were cut across the country. Addicts who desperately need help with overcoming their addiction would be left high and dry and forced to either admit themselves to a hospital, which would take time away from other patients, or try to overcome their addiction alone, which often will not have a successful outcome. Most addicts need to go through treatment where they are fully supported to get better – such as addiction detox – but without the crucial funding, this will be less likely to happen. Trying to overcome addiction is hard enough for all involved as it is; it would become even more stressful if council budgets were cut meaning that clinics had to work on limited budgets to support all these addicts that come to them for help and support.

Help on the Road to Recovery

If you are concerned that you or a loved one is suffering from addiction and need help to beat this illness, contact us here at Addiction Helper today. We will do everything in our power to help you or your loved one on the road to recovery. As an organisation, we work with many treatment facilities around the UK that specialise in a range of treatments such as addiction detox. If you would like any further information or else have any enquiries about the clinics we work with or treatments available, give us a call or an email, and we will be more than happy to help.

Source: Protesters call on county council to keep funding for drug and alcohol services (Staffordshire Newsletter)