The Times – 27 April 2017

If your partner were addicted to heroin, do you think you would know?

Like many people Poorna Bell used to wonder how it was possible that when someone died of drug use their wife/husband/significant other could claim to have been oblivious. Wouldn’t it be blindingly obvious, most of us might say? This is the person you know inside out and sleep alongside every night. Yet she is, she says, “living proof that it’s possible”.

Dr William Shanahan, the medical director and consultant psychiatrist at Nightingale Hospital in London, says this of addicts: “They are not untruthful and dishonest people, they just want heroin. And therefore you have to ask yourself: ‘Why are we not giving it to them? Why are we making it so difficult for these people and blocking them rather than giving them a few months or years of stability so they can stop lying?’ Then they can actually build a life, so they can say: ‘I feel better, can I try at redemption now?’ ”

Read the full article here.


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