Forum Replies Created
I’m torn between laughing at the idea of a “Llay Music Festival” and wondering who these McClements are. Hearing about the McClements reminds me of the situation with GHA Coaches – if at first you don’t succeed then try, try again (under a different name, of course, to dupe the casual observer).
Thank you for your apology, Dylan. I think you’ll find that when you are a resident constantly on the receiving end of the behaviour of drug addicts, it becomes a very emotive issue and it has certainly had a very profound effect on my attitude towards them.
I agree that these addicts are in a very unpleasant situation and I don’t begrudge them help – even at taxpayers’ financial expense – but it should not be to the detriment of other people’s lives, and the residents of Rhosddu should not have to bear the brunt of this. I am sick of hearing excuses given by charities, e.g. any of us could end up homeless. I believe describing these people as ‘homeless’ rather than ‘drug addicts’ is a deliberate ploy to try to get the public to look upon them more sympathetically. The ones I lived next door to had plenty of opportunities to work with the housing association and the agencies the association put them in touch with. These people did not need to lose their homes (paid for by housing benefit) and the fact is they became homeless because of their own sustained actions despite being given so many chances to avoid eviction. Yet these charities would have us believe that these homeless addicts fell victim to unscrupulous landlords and that if they could only be given somewhere to live they could turn their lives around. It is always someone else’s fault, never the fault of the addicts themselves. For me, these charities have made the term ‘homeless’ synonymous with ‘drug addict’ and I will never donate to a homeless charity again or buy another Big Issue.
Drug addicts seem to have plenty of places to go for help in Wrexham. I have no idea what these organisations do or whether they are any use. But where are the organisations for people with the misfortune of living near to drug addicts, fearing for their own safety and suffering their own mental health issues as a consequence? What on earth are our local councillors doing?
And I still maintain that if these addicts have the organisational skills to seek out free needles and fund their drug addictions, there is no reason why they cannot dispose of needles responsibly.
99DylanJones, I take issue with a number of your points.
“What came first mental health problems then drugs or drugs then mental health?”
I doubt any of the drug users set out to become addicted but instead started as recreational drug users. Some may have been ‘self-medicating’ (unconsciously or otherwise) in an attempt to escape mental health issues, but some will simply have been out for a ‘good time’. Furthermore, the mental health services that were available to them, or which have failed them, are the same mental health services that are available to – or have failed – everyone else too. Drug users do not have a monopoly on mental health issues.
“4) Glasgow Council are looking at the creation of ‘safe/clean’ rooms for drug injections – concentrating the issues in one location in a ‘controlled’ environment”
It could be argued that ‘concentrating the issues in one location’ is precisely what is already happening in Rhosddu. The services that have set up shop in Rhosddu, and who claim to be so knowledgeable about homelessness and substance abuse issues, should have foreseen the consequences of installing themselves so heavily in one particular area. Why would anyone trust these organisations to resolve this issue now?
“For a variety of reasons many of the people causing the problems have been let down by the medical profession due to lack of detox, friends who have deserted them and their own families.”
“5) Why don’t residents themselves take action by facing up to the issues that unfortunately many will have in their own family – move away from thinking it is a phase. Their family member may not be street users at present but it must be a very fine line between in house use and street use.”
“7) Stop trying to blame the Police for a society issue everyone has a responsibility and turning a blind eye does nothing to help- report and chase up for action”
I am gobsmacked at what you have said here. How about you stop blaming the law-abiding residents of Rhosddu? You seem to be saying that the problems in Rhosddu are the residents’ own responsibility. You also appear to suggest that Rhosddu has a preponderance of families with drug issues and just a fine line before their drug-using family members becoming one of Rhosddu’s ‘street users’.
I have lived in social housing with several neighbours being drug users – and I have seen how organisations bend over backwards to help these people, whilst the rest of us are left to suffer their behaviour for months and years. I had to move home to get away from it. I am tired of the excuses made for drug users. I find it offensive when people suggest that it is everyone’s responsibility to deal with this. I think responsibility should be placed squarely where it belongs – on the drug addicts. To do anything else only provides them with a convenient excuse and absolves them of responsibility for their own behaviour.
Drug users can choose to seek help from the services in Rhosddu or they can choose not to. Some drug users are homeless and some are not. Either way, there is no excuse for discarding used needles and drug paraphernalia in places where it can cause harm to other people.
I lived in social housing. 3 years ago drug addicts and their friends were living in flats near mine. I lived in a small block, but in a cul-de-sac which housed mainly families with young children. One drug addict lived just outside my block; another lived in a flat above mine.
These people and their visitors were routinely loud and intimidating at any time of day or night. They would shout and fight and punch walls and threaten people. They would knock on ground floor windows to try to gain entry to the block. They would climb into the communal bins to search for items (presumably to sell), and leave rubbish all over the place. On one occasion the bins were not emptied because the rubbish strewn over the ground prevented them from being wheeled to the bin lorry. I ended up tidying up the rubbish so that the bin men would return to collect it – I came across a needle while doing this, which shocked me because it hadn’t even occurred to me that I might find such a thing.
The police were regular visitors to these people too.
An elderly man living opposite me on the ground floor moved into residential care – giving up his independence because he no longer felt safe in his home. A woman upstairs moved in with her parents because she was afraid of the addict living opposite her. I did not have anywhere to move to. My GP signed me off sick from work with the stress of it all.
When I complained to the housing association, they said I was the 13th person to report it. But still the behaviour continued. The man from outside the block was due to be evicted but got a last minute reprieve from the court. The addict upstairs was sent to prison for threatening someone. After several months, the housing association found a tenant prepared to move into our ‘druggy’ block, taking over the elderly man’s flat. The new tenant turned out to be a heavy cannabis smoker and the smell got into everyone’s flats. The addict upstairs returned from prison and resumed his previous behaviour.
The addict in the flat outside the block was eventually evicted. 9 months after I first complained I was finally moved by the housing association. The woman from upstairs also eventually got a move. It was another 18 months before the addict upstairs was evicted. The weed smoker still lives there.
I am so weary of hearing these excuses. Just because they are addicts does not necessarily mean that they all have mental health issues; and there are a great many people with serious mental health issues who do not become addicts or behave in this manner. It is one thing to volunteer to help addicts and decide how much time you spend with them and what sort of help you can give – it is quite another when the worst of their behaviour is imposed upon you constantly, when you have to move home to escape it.
The people I describe already had decent housing (paid for by housing benefit – even while in prison) and were given chance after chance to change their behaviour. They could have continued being addicts and kept their homes if they had shown some consideration towards their neighbours. It infuriates me that drug addicts like this are described as vulnerable and in need of help and sympathy – in fact it is the rest of us who are made vulnerable by their behaviour and we are the ones who need help when we are on the receiving end. I don’t know what the ‘homeless’ charities claim to be doing to help these people, but I would question whether they really are helping them or ‘enabling’ their addictions. These addicts may not have homes, toilets, showers – or dignity – but if they are capable of putting in enough effort to obtain free and clean needles to use, then surely they could put similar effort into disposing of these needles responsibly.
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