Drug addiction debate on Streetlife

PUBLISHED: 11:00 17 October 2015

Drug abuse in Weston-super-Mare was debated by Streetlife users.

Drug abuse in Weston-super-Mare was debated by Streetlife users.

Archant

THE prevalence of drug addiction has been a provocative topic on community forum Streetlife this week.

Many users of the social media site said they felt Weston-super-Mare had a problem with drug addiction and some questioned what the authorities were doing to help.

Other users questioned how the problem of drug addiction in the town should be dealt with, while others felt the presence of drug problems was a barrier to development taking place in Weston.

John C began the discussion and said: “Weston has a problem with the numbers of drug addicts.

“John Penrose has said the number has been reduced by 50 per cent which, if that is the case, shows how big the problem is.

“If we were a bustling vibrant town without these issues, shops would be snapped up (and) large chains may even consider us.”

Caroline D said: “Many of these poor addicts are Government funded – it’s a complex issue that affects other seaside towns too.

“There is unfortunately another major issue here. Funded addicts from other towns arrive here before the home town sends paperwork, (meaning) the addicts are here before the rehab agencies are aware.

“They melt into the ether, thus avoiding their promise to seek rehab rather than face prison. The system is inefficient.”

Philip P also felt the problem of drug addiction was not unique to Weston.

He said: “Weston’s not alone in this respect – many seaside towns seem to be afflicted in the same way. But it does indicate we need to get ahead of the game and galvanise our council and other civic bodies into taking positive action to contain and reduce the effects (of drug addiction).”

On the other hand, Catherine F felt the majority of the town’s addicts had not been relocated to Weston for treatment and were actually from the local area. She also felt the number of so-called legal high or ‘head’ shops in the town was making things worse.

She said: “We are talking about human beings first before they became addicted to drink and drugs. Every town and city has facilities to help (and I) guess because Weston is quite small it appears (as if there are) a lot.

“The majority of young addicts (who) roam our streets at present are all young people (from Weston).

“We have a problem with our own community. Just look around at all the head shops that have opened in town.”

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