DDN November 2022 DDN Nov_2022 - Page 17

LETTERS AND COMMENT
and the urgent need to kick-start politicians into realising that we were falling behind other countries – including the US – in shifting our approach to drug policy .
‘ This increase in deaths should not be acceptable to any of us ,’ said Evan Chiswell of Humankind . With demands for support continuing to rise , the cost of living crisis having a very real effect and inequalities gaps widening , investment was ever more vital . ‘ Only with sustained support can our sector and our lived experience partners continue to work towards preventing many of these tragic deaths ,’ he said .
Stigmatisation could be addressed through good diversion schemes – and knowing what these looked like , suggested Megan Jones from Cranstoun . It was an opportunity that ‘ should be rooted in harm reduction education and directing away from the criminal justice system ’ and was ‘ a chance to work much more collaboratively and consistently across police force areas ’. ‘ Something needs to be done about the DBS [ Disclosure and Barring Service ] added John Graham , who worked for 25 years in primary treatment ‘ where a lot of deaths take place ’. ‘ People who offended society were branded and stigmatised , but the current protocols in the DBS with regard to disclosure are the modern equivalent of that kind of branding ,’ he said . People in recovery who had ‘ moved on from their old behaviour ’ were still branded by the need to disclose criminal offences from when they were in active addiction , which might be many years old .
Embracing a trauma-informed approach was also essential , said therapist Liz Martin . ‘ The reality is we ’ re condemning people who are ill . I ’ ve yet to meet anyone in prison who doesn ’ t have trauma in their background .’
‘ We need to make it safe to talk about drug policy , about creating an environment where people can put their head above the parapet without being shot down ,’ said James Nicholls , senior lecturer in public health , while Yasmin Batliwala of WDP called for political parties to stop looking backwards . ‘ In this country we ’ ve stopped thinking ,
‘ Until my detention six years ago , despite drinking anti-socially alone every day of every week , I refused to accept that I was an alcoholic .’
STIGMA IN PRISON
Until my detention six years ago , despite drinking antisocially alone every day of every week , I refused to accept that I was an alcoholic . Now almost 2,200 days in recovery
I am proud to be part of our integrated substance misuse service team ( ISMS ) supporting others here at The Verne .
EDP is the charity organisation that offers a whole range of services that includes in-cell workbooks , SMART groups , First Steps programmes as well as arranging fortnightly
AA meetings and bi-monthly recovery talks .
However , as one of two
ISMS peer reps here I cannot help but feel that a stigma is attached to those suffering issues of addiction , as only one in 12 here use our services for their recovery . This is especially strange in that while we all accept that we ’ re here because of conviction for the whole
weakness to others because of an addictive illness .
If anyone has any comments or views on how I can ‘ promote ’ acceptance or suggestions of a promotional activity we ’ ve not thought of , I ’ d be grateful if you could share .
Name supplied , HMP The Verne
INVOLVE US INMATES !
What you need at DDN is to involve serving prisoners and offer help and good advice to us who are locked away from the
( freedom ) world – who are limited in our ability to get the real help that we so desperately need and so desperately want . Please will you do this with DDN , because right now your magazine is absolutely useless to all inmates in every single prison / jail in the whole wide world .
All the advertisements are for people on the outside world and most ads are about jobs that none of us inmates can ever get and the only way to contact any of the ads is by phone or internet – there ’ s no address for inmates to be able to write to .
It does have some stuff inside for ex-convicts on how they can stay safe when they take drugs or turn back to the bottle . One thing that I really do not like or agree with is that you seem to
we ’ ve stopped looking at possibilities and potential ,’ she said . DDN
spectrum of sexual offences , there remains some who
/ ddnmagazine @ ddnmagazine
are perhaps afraid to show
DDN welcomes all your comments . Please email the editor , claire @ cjwellings . com , join any of the conversations on our Facebook page , or send letters to DDN , CJ Wellings Ltd , Romney House , School Road , Ashford , Kent TN27 0LT . Longer comments and letters may be edited for space or clarity .
www . drinkanddrugsnews . com
advertise drug paraphernalia – drug equipment such as injecting needles , boiling spoons , rubber bands to tie around arms so that you can get a nice big fat juicy vein for injecting into and other information on how to safely take / do drugs and drink . It is extremely wrong and barbaric . You should be giving vital information to drug addicts , alcoholics , ex-drug addicts and ex-alcoholics on how they can get off the evil nasty stuff , get themselves clean and stay clean for the rest of their lives . You are making users crave and want to use again and chase the buzz – fact !
I ’ m not saying your DDN magazine is purely negative because I ’ ve seen some positiveness such as charities helping users and ex-users on the outside world . But seriously , if you ’ re not willing to involve us prisoners , us human beings , then I no longer wish to be a part of you and do not want to receive your DDN magazine . Are you willing to look at finally involving us prisoners in your magazine ? Name supplied , HMP Wakefield
DDN editor responds DDN regularly receives letters from people writing from prison – your contributions are invaluable . Only by giving us your feedback do we know what you want to read . I hope our readers and advertisers take on board your advice on inclusivity .
On your point about paraphernalia : we ’ re 100 per cent committed to harm reduction and the guiding principle that no one can recover if they ’ re dead . This doesn ’ t diminish our belief in great support services and the vital work around recovery , but these are tools in a very necessary toolkit for many people , and everybody should have the knowledge to save lives .
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