A British Member of Parliament has recently shared about his addiction to alcohol in the House of Commons. This is a fairly rare sight to see in the House of Commons and no others have given such a speech before, despite some MPs experiencing addiction and even dying from addictive disorders.
Although this is a refreshing addition to usual discussions in Parliament, addiction services in the UK have never been so marginalized. Rehab placements virtually nonexistent and many people with the combination of substance use disorders and mental health being denied any form of help altogether.
Drug laws in the UK seek to punish those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and provide little alternatives for support. Many of those who have been arrested for drug and alcohol offenses find it very hard to find work and a strong majority of them will be back in prison for other offenses within 12 months.
Alternative sentencing, where help is given to those instead of punishment is delivered out as mere tokenism and not to any effective level.
It’s good Dan Carden can talk about himself, but hopefully he can put that personal experience forward to influence change.