In the UK, tackling drug addiction is not just up to individuals

Published on February 19, 2019

Drug addiction is a blight on people’s lives and on society but the solution to the problem is not just an individual one.

Society can and must help those who fall victim to addition to drugs – from alcohol and nicotine through to illegal drugs.

And in the UK, there are three exemplar programs looking to tackle the problems of addiction.

In Brighton on the south coast of England, a new music video has been produced where the entire cast is made up of people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, shot against the city’s iconic backdrop.

This new approach to making music springs from the creative talents of We Are Not Saints – an independent record label in Hove dedicated to finding and working with people with real talent who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

The video launches the debut single from Jim Trickster, a Brighton-based musician who is in recovery himself.

But the illegal drugs market is constantly evolving with new synthetic drugs hitting the market on a daily basis.  To help the management of drug misuse the NHS and a charity partner came together to host the UK’s first Novel Drug Trends conference.

The conference examined the risks and challenges from the newer synthetic Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) such as “Spice” and those formally known as “legal highs.”

Over 130  professionals attended from a range of fields related to the management of drug misuse including; expert psychiatrists, psychologists and trainees from C&I and other health organisations, as well as prison officials.

The Forward Trust co-hosted the conference, in partnership with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust at the end of 2018.

Meanwhile to tackle the problems associated with alcohol addiction and drink driving, campaigners are urging the British government to make it compulsory for convicted drink-drivers to use alcohol interlocks – a device that is fitted to the ignition of a vehicle to prevent it from being started until a clear breath sample is given.

The interlock devices are already in use or being trialed in much of Europe including Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as in North America and Australia. In fact, in Australia, where interlocks have been used in the state of Victoria for 11 years, drink-drivers were prevented from starting their cars on 250,000 occasions.

Can’t get enough from Simon Francis? See how loneliness, is an issue, too.


Simon Francis is a contributing writer at Grit Daily. Based in the United Kingdom, Francis covers news from the U.K. each week. To let him know about your good news email him at

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