‘Abstinence CAN get addicts off drugs’ says refuge with high success rate

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Abstinence to get people clear of drugs goes against current mainstream thinking. But one charity has evidence of real success getting addicts away from a life dependent on heroin, methadone and other drugs.

Promoting abstinence to get people clear of drugs goes against current mainstream thinking.

But one charity has evidence of real success getting addicts away from a life dependent on heroin, methadone and other drugs.

The Haven, a Christian charity based near one of Scotland’s drugs blackspots, believes it suffers from mistrust and stigma because it does not promote “harm reduction” – which sees addicts given replacement drugs such as methadone to reduce their dependence on street drugs.

But the charity boasts an extraordinary success rate.

Of 33 people to complete The Haven’s residential programme since 2015, 22 are now drug free and living productive and stable lives – that’s a success rate of 67 per cent, despite clients typically hitting rock bottom before turning to the centre near Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire.

Most have served several jail sentences and spent long periods on methadone programmes before deciding the only answer for them is to be 100 per cent drug free.

All of that has been achieved despite the charity being given nothing by Government and having its local authority grant cut to nil five years ago.

Another 27 people failed to complete the course, a reminder of how breaking free from drugs is an impossible hurdle for many.

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