An eye opening experience at Burton Addiction Centre

My eyes were well and truly opened to the harsh reality of drug and alcohol addiction when I took part in a lively debate on how best to support people on their long journey towards recovery.

The Burton Addiction Centre (BAC) threw open its doors to a whole host of people from different backgrounds and with a range of life experiences – but all with valid opinions and ideas on how to tackle this issue.

The Rt Hon Ian Duncan Smith, MP, who is the Chairman of Breakthrough Britain, was among the guests as was Mike Trace, CEO off RAPt which is one of the biggest providers of drug treatment services within the UK prison system.IMAG0009

Former news reader Ed Mitchell, whose battle with alcohol addiction has been well documented on prime time TV and is his book From Headlines to Hard Times, was also on hand to give a brave and honest account of the trials and tribulations that people with addiction problems face on a daily basis.

Noreen Oliver, MBE, founder and CEO of BAC, spoke passionately about the services that Staffordshire is offering today and her hopes for tomorrow.

The centre itself was also an inspiration, both to myself and the other guests. It focuses on providing a safe, structured and supportive environment which encourages people to work towards a more satisfying and healthy lifestyle away from alcohol and drugs.

The debate made me realise that some really positive steps are already being taken in the fight against substance misuse but as a county, and as a country, there is still work to do.

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