Thursday 24 September 2009


I have been swallowed up in a blogger’ vortex. with so much to say but no words to tell the story. But let me start with the feel good stuff.

Last weekend OG and I went to the really posh wedding of one of our colleagues. The ceremony was at the very grand Stapleford Park Hotel. OG and I stayed the weekend and were very priviledge to be upgraded. If look on their website the room we stayed in was the one to the left of the flag, the one with the open window.

It was a massive room, as high as it was wide, in fact cube shaped. Although OG was not particularly impressed with it and kept banging on that it couldn’t possibly be an upgrade. I explained that this was “faded grandeur”. He thought it was tat. I must agree that I did have the occasional thought, “I’ve got better than this at home, what am I doing here?"

I digress, the wedding. The weather was perfect, the happy couple were beaming, the bride was beautiful, the setting was stunning, the company was entertaining, and the food was to die for.

So that’s the good stuff. Now for the vortex stuff. There is a saying “don’t listen to the words, hear the meaning”. So here goes - this is when I reveal my true craziness. I applaud the new initiative to treat heroin addicts with heroin. Yes, I know, mad isn’t it. But this is my thinking.

A high proportion of prisoners are “in residence” because of crimes committed to feed a drug habit. The cost of policing and incarcerating junkies is massive and doesn’t even begin to solve the problem, not to mention the cost in human misery to the addict, their family and us good citizens going about our everyday business. The result is that the Criminal Justice System is in virtual meltdown.

Added to that is the wider issue of drugs funding the terrorism that our soldiers are dying to protect us from and the evidence for just buying the damn opium direct from source and giving them the wretch “fix” at clinics is compelling. Work smart, not hard - cut out the criminal/terrorist middlemen.

By giving junkies their drug in clinics we make our streets safer and take the criminals operating the supply chain out of the equation. It is a solution that works well and saves money in Sweden and Switzerland

I should also add that I don’t believe that anyone sets out to be an addict. The term "addiction" is used to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence and takes many forms such as drug addiction, alcoholism, compulsive overeating, problem gambling etc. I know many people with alcohol and/or heroin addiction, both in recovery and still suffering so I do have some personal knowledge of the difficulties that surround this hellish condition.

Last year I met a wonderful group of brave, honest, hard working souls, all with personal experience of addiction either themselves or within their family. They believe that wherever possible the addict should abstain from drugs, which is obviously the best solution, but this is only the beginning of the recovery journey. They set up a drop in center. Their work has been an extraordinary success story, helping addicts get clean and back into society by opening up channels for them to get back into work and housing. Unfortunately, because they don’t have “qualifications” they can’t get funding. They struggle.

The “qualifications” that they DO have is that they know all the angles, they can’t have the wool pulled over their eyes and they work with conviction, passion and love. The “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” sort of people. But this, apparently, doesn’t count. We desperately need to look at this whole problem with fresh eyes.

So - hurrah for this initiative. Now let’s sit back and watch the bleeding liberals and mad politicians wreck the scheme!

And finally … I believe that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help


Anonymous said...

totally agree -well said

jay said...

I agree too. If there's no black market, there won't be the level of drug-related crime that we have now. Cut out the middle man and cut out the crime - sounds as if it would work, to me.

We waste a huge amount of resources preventing, policing and dealing with the fall-out.

Mare Freeborn said...

Dearest Ann:

First of all let me say that you looked beautiful in the wedding pic (and OG is not too bad himself). Every time I read your blog I am amazed at how much you remind me of my Mom - you all even look alike. I don't know if you remember me commenting a couple months ago about this, but it's like Mom has her very own doppelganger in England! ;-D Anyway - I agree. Treating addicts with what they need until they can cope without is a good idea. And what a revelation to make it all legal so that they can be treated without being put in jail. I have been a longtime advocate of legalizing at least marijuana. It would drop the crime rate immensely and help to begin solving the mess we call an economy over here. I just wish that at least one of the a**holes we elected into office would have the gumption to say so out loud. (I don't know what we were thinking when we voted most of these guys/girls in!?!?!) PS - I started my own blog (which I haven't posted on all that often but intend to start at least weekly posts starting this month) so head on over & check it out if you get a chance -
Have a great weekend!!!

Mare Freeborn

Maggie May said...

I also agree. Can't think how I missed this post. I have also been swallowed up in black holes and shut out of my blog over a few weeks during this summer. said...

Why can't the "career" policitians think like us VM? My guess is that they don't really know what real life is all about. said...

Yes Jay, if only our government would study the best of othere counties and replicate their successes. That goes for our health service too. said...

I do remember you Mare. I'm so stunned that there might be another nutter like me walking this earth. The thought is truly terrifying! Please tell me you are joking!! said...

Once again we sing from the same hymn sheet Maggie.