What ever sort of message does this send to kids ?

"So its alright to take drugs because if the government stops you, they'll have to pay you some money in compensation, right ?"

What does a drugs education teacher say to a pupil who asks that today ? What message does this send out ?

The news, widely reported, that the government have settles out of court to drug users who were denied drugs when imprisioned, is appalling.

It's a crazy system that allows drugs users to demand drugs, illegal drugs, that the government have to supply, or the government can be sued.

Rather that wasting time, money and effort trying to change race hate laws again in order to obtain a party politically motivated conviction of Nick Griffin, how about a revision of the laws that alllows people in these circumstances to get hold of some of my hard earned taxes that I have paid to the government.

What ever sort of message does this send to kids wondering whether to take drugs or not ?


Ellee said...

This is so unbelievable, you couldn't make it up. Great minds then, if only we could say the same of the Government.

Will said...

I doubt very much anyone is about to decide to take drugs on the basis of this.

The compensation seems a little absurd, but what it highlights once again is the failure of the prison system to deal properly with those who are driven back to it time after time by drugs.

Personally I'd rather my hard-earned taxes were used to get these prisoners off drugs rather than locking them, letting them go, having them commit more crimes to pay for their habit, and locking them up again.

Norfolk Blogger said...

It might not make their minds up Will, but it is a difficult argument to counter if you are working with teenagers looking for an excuse.

What you say about rehabilitation though is correct and makes sense.

Chris Black said...


I see that the government's agreement to pay compensation in half a dozen cases effectively means that they will have to pay out for a total of 198.

I've been seething about this all day.

I'd say that this is a situation where the law needs to change because people shouldn't get compensation in these cases. (But if someone committed suicide because they were on cold turkey, I wonder if that would change my view)

Now I'm also thinking that one question needs answering as well - were these people put on cold turkey through a lack of prison resources, bureaucratic errors, official policy or malice?
But this article on the BBC website sums things up very well - the horror of cold turkey - but the light at the end of the tunnel:

I effectively went cold turkey in Pentonville Prison because it took the drugs detox team 12 days to come and see me when I was last in.

It was an experience I never want to have to go through again. It was horrible. It's like the worst flu and diarrhoea you can imagine, multiplied 10 times.

You have got a constant runny nose, your stomach is doing cartwheels and you can't face food or drink.

You are shivering permanently and your stomach is constantly cramping up. Your bones ache and you get hot and cold flushes.

It's almost like an out of body experience. You know that your body needs the drug and it will all be OK if you get it.

Once you've had it, you know everything will be fine. But locked in a cell you know it's impossible.

By the time the detox team did see me and my cellmate, who was in the same position, we didn't want any drugs because we were over the worst of it.

It has helped me give up. I don't want to go back on drugs because I don't want to go through that again.

I am now on a drug treatment and testing order and have to give mouth swabs twice a week. I've been clean since August.

Tristan said...

The reporting is what you should be annoyed at.

These were people whose treatment for an illness was stopped because they were in prison. That is simply unforgivable and they are right to seek compensation.

And yes, the illness is self-afflicted, but would you also deny treatment a mentally ill patient who harmed themselves? (which is often the case with drug addiction anyway).