Should Dangerous Addicts Be Forced to Undergo Addiction Detox?

Many people around the UK suffer from drug addiction. In some cases, it can be so severe that the individual becomes completely detached from reality, and the actions he or she takes will reflect this. Some experts have argued that it should be mandatory for the people considered a danger to undergo addiction detox for them to overcome their addiction and become valued members of society. However, until the day where this hopefully becomes a reality, some addicts will continue to act in a horrific way that can have a hugely negative impact on those around them. One example of this is the tragic case of Poppy Widdison, who suffered cardiac arrest and died at the age of just four after a life filled with drug abuse due to her addict mother and her partner.

Devastating and Tragic

The devastating and tragic story of the unimaginable pain that four-year-old Poppy Widdison was subjected to during her short life has recently emerged after her mother Michala Pyke and her partner John Rytting were convicted of drug offences and child cruelty resulting in young Poppy’s death. Poppy was born battling a drug addiction after her mother continued to abuse drugs while pregnant; she was even named after the Opium Poppy plant which is what produces heroin. In her short life, she was surrounded by drugs constantly in the ‘squalid home’ of drug dealer Rytting. The court heard how the pair would feed drugs such as ketamine, diazepam and heroin to Poppy, calling them ‘blue smarties’, so that they could have sex without the youngster interrupting.

No Remorse

Social services had concerns about Poppy’s welfare from the moment she was born; the child was described as an ‘inconvenience’ to Pyke. She sadly passed away in June 2013 after suffering a cardiac arrest due to the drugs that were being fed to her regularly; a post-mortem examination discovered that there were numerous bruises on Poppy’s legs, arms and buttocks. While text messages found on Pyke’s phone showed that she called her daughter a ‘b****’ and a ‘little thief’. Evil Rytting showed no remorse or any emotion at all throughout the whole trial, even when he was sentenced to thirteen years in jail, he responded “whatever”. Had the pair been required to go through an addiction detox process, the situation could have been avoided.


Labour MP for Grimsby, Melanie Onn, has commented on what she believes to have been a massive failure by social services. She said, “The whole town has been horrified to learn of what Poppy went through in her short life. That it happened in plain sight over a long period of time is the tragedy of this little girl who slipped through too many cracks in the system. After Baby P, those cracks were supposed to have been filled. It will long be a scar on the face of our community that more was not done to intervene to save her life. There were mistakes made by various agencies involved with Poppy’s family. Those mistakes cannot be undone; it is right that they have been accepted and all efforts should now be put into making our protection services fit for purpose.”

Horrific Cruelty

NSPCC regional head of service for Yorkshire and the Humber, Fiona Richards, said that she believed this horrific incident has provided ‘a lesson for us all’. She said, “Poppy Widdison was just four years old when she died, after enduring months of horrific cruelty at the hands of those meant to be keeping her safe and securing her happiness. At that age, we expect children to be carefree, spending their days playing and learning, and perhaps being read a story at bedtime. But instead, Poppy was being sedated with hard drugs, which her mother Michala Pyke and Pyke’s partner John Rytting shockingly referred to as ‘smarties’. They saw Poppy as an inconvenience, and today the pair were sentenced to 13 years each for child cruelty. There is a lesson for us all. We know that people in the neighbourhood were worried about Poppy but did not know what to do about it. Looking out for children is a responsibility we all share. We must not ignore signs of neglect. If we spot a concern at the school gate or in our community, then we must have the courage to speak out and report it, and those reports must be shared between agencies to keep children safe.”

Significant Changes

She added, “The NSPCC can support and guide you to ensure your concerns are listened to and, where necessary, action is taken to protect children. After Poppy’s death, a review by North East Lincolnshire Local Safeguarding Children Board highlighted areas where lessons need to be learned by all organisations. Key parenting assessments weren’t carried out, and agencies that were aware of Pyke’s substance abuse did not talk to each other. It must be noted that in the years since Poppy’s death in 2013, practice has been improved in North East Lincolnshire.”

A spokesperson for the North East Lincolnshire Local Safeguarding Board said that they would continue to keep ‘doing their best to continually improve their practice to keep children safe’. He also went on to say that ‘significant changes have taken place’ since Poppy’s tragic death.

Further Information

Here at Addiction Helper, we aim to assist those who are plagued with addiction and who want help to fully overcome the illness. If you are concerned about your addiction or that of a loved one, then please get in touch with us today. We work with many clinics around the UK that offer a range of effective treatments. We have successfully assisted hundreds in overcoming their addiction, and you could be next; contact us today for more information; we would be more than happy to assist.

Source: The unimaginable world of Poppy Widdison: Born addicted to drugs and named after heroin plant before evil mum subjected her to life of ‘utter degradation’ (


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