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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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It takes just 15 minutes to find drugs in Cumbria - claim

A former addict says it takes just 15 minutes to find drugs in Cumbria.

Cannabis leaves photo
Cannabis leaves

The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, lives in Keswick and was addicted to drugs for 30 years.

She began using cannabis as a 15-year-old before moving onto amphetamines, and she also took heroin several times but never became addicted.

The 51-year-old mother-of-two has managed to get off drugs after finding support from Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

But she says “drugs are everywhere” having lived in Bolton before moving to Cumbria.

“It’s very easy to find drugs,” she said.

“I would go into the nearest grotty looking pub and within quarter of an hour I would get talking to someone who could direct you to the right person.

“It’s the same everywhere – you just have to sit in the town centre and watch people. There’s a certain look about them.

“I also used to work in hospitality and many of my colleagues were on stimulants to help them cope with the long hours.”

Her comments come after the News & Star published figures revealing the true scale of the county’s drugs problem.

They showed the problems Carlisle has with heroin and the battle west Cumbria has with amphetamines.

A new NA group was launched in Workington at the end of last month.

Organisers say the number of people attending weekly meetings has so far been lower than they had hoped.

But this isn’t surprising as most addicts won’t seek help until they’re ready, according to the recovering addict. She explained: “When you’re an addict you tell people what they want to hear to get what you want.

“Unless you really want to get clean you won’t be interested.

“It’s something that takes time and you really have to be at breaking point to want to do what it takes and nobody can tell you when that point is.”

Cumbria County Council’s public health team says there are around 1,300 people in the county involved in long-term drug treatment programmes.

A spokesman said: “NA groups can be an effective way to combat drug addiction alongside mainstream treatment services.”

Detective Superintendent Andy Slattery, of Cumbria police, says the most effective way of dealing with the problem is targeting suppliers.

“We look at the supply line – less drugs and more help has to be a positive thing,” he said.

The NA meetings in Workington are held every Thursday at the Unity offices in Finkle Street from 2pm.

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