Drink and Drugs News DDN March 2019 - Page 15

Reports, pictures and videos: www.drinkanddrugsnews.com ‘Naloxone is significant, but it’s not a magic bullet. Drug-related deaths are at record levels, and if you look at a map of them and a map of deprivation they pretty much match each other. What causes drug- related deaths is misery and deprivation’ bigger picture and who else I could get on board.’ The East Sussex naloxone working group now included CGL directors, a PHE consultant, a safer communities board lead, CCG commissioners, pharmacy leads and high ranking police officers, among others, he told delegates. The main pathways he was hoping the group would embrace were police custody, dispensing pharmacies, police as first responders, A&E departments, general hospitals, mental health wards and ambulance crews. ‘The law has just changed and now we’re exploring nasal naloxone, which hopefully will be a driver for change,’ he said. ‘I magine the person next to you has been on a massive alcohol binge and has drunk in excess of a bottle of vodka a day,’ gambling harm consultant Owen Baily told delegates. ‘Consider how they might be feeling and behaving. Imagine someone who has been on a crack binge for weeks, how they might appear to you right now. Then imagine someone who’s been gambling all the money they have, they haven’t paid their rent or Alex Boyt bought food – consider how they might be behaving.’ Problem gamblers displayed few behavioural indicators, despite causing great harm to themselves, he said, and it was this capacity for problematic gambling to be concealed that led to it being called the ‘silent’ addiction. ‘I’m calling on the drug and alcohol treatment sector to do more to at every level to be just that little bit more curious about gambling,’ he said, while in terms of service user involvement, Twitter was a powerful platform that could be used to drive things forward. ‘This time last year I was heading towards the worst life crisis I’d ever www.drinkanddrugsnews.com the east Sussex naloxone working group now includes CGl directors, a PHe consultant, a safer communities board lead, CCG commissioners, pharmacy leads and high ranking police officers. experienced in my adult life,’ he told the conference. ‘I was suicidal and I’m very fortunate that I’m not dead or in prison. I’m not saying that to be dramatic, I’m saying it as a matter of fact.’ He grew up in a single-parent household and experienced emotional bullying from his mother’s boyfriend, later getting into drugs. ‘I’d become feral, but it wasn’t without consequence.’ He was permanently excluded from school, became homeless, and was later in a PeteR HAWley young offenders’ institution and a bail hostel. ‘I discovered morals and values and an appreciation of my liberty, having had it taken away.’ He then discovered ‘just how safe it felt to play fruit machines’, he said. ‘I cultivated very unhealthy thoughts and beliefs around gambling,’ and experiencing a first ‘big win’ made him go on to gamble even more. He gave up his home and job to go travelling, only to instantly gamble his money away, arriving back in the UK homeless and destitute. ‘For want of a better phrase, I was fucked,’ he said. Realising he had a serious problem he looked for help in the local area, but found there was nothing. He began to drink heavily and became alcohol-dependent – ‘now I had my ticket to access local service provision’, he said, beginning a 16-year treatment journey. ‘I went to rehab for drink and drugs, but my gambling was mocked and ridiculed.’ Later, he began to attend a local Gamblers Anonymous service and then the National Problem Gambling Clinic operated by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust – the only NHS clinic for the treatment of gambling disorders. March 2019 | drinkanddrugsnews | 15