Drug and Alcohol Services Needed Even in Small Towns

The High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, Charlie Forbes Adams, recently paid a visit to a local drug and alcohol services centre in the tiny town of Selby. In case you are wondering, Selby’s population is just over 13,000. Yet as Forbes Adams pointed out, there are still enough people in the town struggling with alcohol and drugs to warrant having an active service centre there.

The truth is that drug and alcohol services are needed even in the smallest of towns. Alcohol is the biggest problem, with more people battling alcohol than any other that drug rehab specialists deal with. A town such as Selby may not have a legion of drug users taking heroin or cocaine in back alleys, but alcohol continues to be an issue.

Forbes Adams heaped praise upon the staff and volunteers at the centre during his visit, and rightfully so. There are good people doing excellent work to help others recover from alcohol and drug addiction. Their efforts, and the efforts of other service centres around the country, should be heralded as we attempt to bring an end to substance abuse and addiction. It is within the walls of these service centres that alcoholics and drug abusers are finding real hope and real solutions to their problems.

Alcoholism a Family Problem

It has been said that drug abuse in any form is a family problem. While that is true, the nature of alcoholism makes the family problem even more pronounced. Alcoholism affects the entire family inasmuch as it affects everything from household finances to relationships among family members. The difference with alcoholism, as compared to drug abuse, is that other family members may also consume alcohol even though they are not dependent themselves. This only strengthens the temptation to continue drinking in the mind of the alcoholic.

This dynamic is present regardless of whether the family in question lives in a major city or small town. Therefore, both types of communities need an investment in successful recovery services. Recovery services should include:

• medically supervised detox
• professional counselling
• group support participation
• reintegration into day-to-day life
• family counselling and support.

Individual alcoholics benefit greatly from alcohol detox and rehab services provided by private clinics and other organisations. However, what about family members? Detox and rehab do not directly relate to them, yet they still need help as well. That is when family counselling and support group fellowship comes into play. A family with access to strong support services can turn around and provide support to the recovering alcoholic.

More Services Desperately Needed

What Forbes Adams observed in Selby is something we need more of across the UK. We need a greater national investment in proven recovery services that go beyond just minimum detox. The thing is, the UK used to invest in such services in the past. Yet budget cuts and an NHS decision to no longer provide residential treatment has led to drastic cuts in services. The number of treatment clinics now serving alcoholics and drug users is just a fraction of what it used to be.

There is excellent work going on at rehab clinics in both small towns and large cities. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to not only keep the services going but to expand them to more towns and cities. The harder we work to bring an end to substance abuse and addiction in this country, the better off the UK will be for future generations. Mr Forbes Adams can attest to that.


1. B Daily – https://bdaily.co.uk/hospitality/06-07-2015/high-sheriff-praises-inspirational-drugs-and-alcohol-service-in-selby/


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