Hundreds of drug addicts needing help

MORE than 300 drug users in Ipswich, mostly on heroin and crack cocaine, sought some kind of help for their addiction last year, latest figures reveal.

MORE than 300 drug users in Ipswich, mostly on heroin and crack cocaine, sought some kind of help for their addiction last year, latest figures reveal.

Statistics released by the government funded Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) showed that there were approximately 330 drug users in Ipswich in 2008 that came into contact with services. Of these 270 were using heroin and/or crack cocaine. In total there were more than 1,300 users across Suffolk. These figures come as National Drug Awareness week draws to a close.

Simon Aalders, DAAT co-ordinator, admitted that the real number of users is unknown as many more do not seek help.

Figures also showed that the number of deaths from overdoses in Suffolk last year was 58. This included nine from heroin overdoses, 19 from alcohol related illnesses, six from methadone overdoses, and 22 from other drug overdoses, including prescription painkillers.


You may also want to watch:


Nationally drug use has increased and Mr Aalders claimed it is no different in Ipswich, where 2008 figures showed a 20 per cent increase on the number of users in 2007. However he added that the increase in those seeking help is a positive sign.

He said: “We remain determined to deliver the best possible treatment for Suffolk so that these people dealing with this complex problem have the best chances of success.

Most Read

“The expectation is we will see more people every year. The government want treatment to be available to as many people as possible. Every year we are endeavouring to see more and more people. The mission is to get people off drugs.

“We have to make sure there is information out there in libraries, on the internet, through as many sources as we can, so that there is a way for them to get hold of the correct information.”

As well as those addicted to harder drugs, Mr Aalders said there were also a growing number of casual users of recreational drugs, whether they are a habitual cannabis smokers or users of cocaine at the weekend.

He added: “They do not feel that it causes a problem. Issues of addiction creep up on you and they may become psychologically dependent.”

Do you think enough is being done to help drug users in Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter