Addiction and Families


Coping when they come home. Well what you don’t do is to pour the alcohol down the sink because that’s artificial. One of our patients is leaving treatment from here tomorrow and going to London to the halfway house. He’s going to this environment. Now, on the pub is a gambling shop, whatever they call themselves now, turf accountant or something. On the other pub on the corner is a gay pub.

There’s opportunities in the Old Brompton Road to get any drug you want. You can go and blag anyone. You can get the money, you know, say, “Oh I’m just tucked down here. I live in North London. My father will be terribly worried if I don’t have the—and so, could you lend me the money just for the tube? “You can earn a good living doing that and they do. And you get enough money for the drugs on your way.

By the way, do known never to tell somebody the time by looking watch? Do you know that? Supposing I was to tell you, you asked me on the street. What’s the time? And I look and the chap says, Oh, [0:01 unclear] that would be nice. “And so he signals to the chap down the road and I’m mugged and I’ve lost my watch. So never tell somebody the time in the street, and say “I think it’s about three o’clock. Do not look at your watch. All I’m saying is addicts know how to blag.  They know how to get money. They know how to do absolutely anything they want.

So how do you cope when they come home into that environment? That is the environment they’ve got to learn about. People very often want to go off to Timbuktu to try to get better.  They go to the North of Scotland. Well we’ve got someone here at the moment who’s from the North of Scotland. He is here as an inpatient.

We had someone just recently who’s from the Faroe Islands and you can’t get more distant than that. But she was just as much an alcoholic than anybody else.  You can get any drug, any substance anywhere you like. So getting better in a real environment such as the Old Brompton Road in South Kensington, it’s right in the Center of London is realistic. It’s where we want our halfway house, our extended capacity care facility to be.

So coping when they come home, you have to let them do that. Just give them the consequence of their behaviour that’s what you can do, but everything else just let them get into their trouble in their way and don’t pick them up if they drop. Now that’s tough, particularly if you spend a fortune paying for treatment in Promis and they go spark out. That is part of their journey.

We see lots of people who go through that part of the journey and then they pick themselves up and do very well. It’s part of their realization that what we said here was true, and that’s difficult but it’s their journey not yours.