|Issue 3 - March 1972|
|Pete and Roy
are two boys in their late teens; Pete is a registered morphine addict,
both of them are under psychiatric treatment. They lean heavily on each
other, feeling they have no other friends. A few weeks ago Roy forged
a letter from a doctor for Pete, who handed it in at his local chemist
from which he obtains his supply of morphine. Then a few days ago, Pete
broke into the same chemist's and stole two phials of morphine; while
the alarm bell was ringing Pete injected the morphine. Later he was caught
and admitted to the crime of which he had no recollection. Pete has been
busted but to the Drug Squad's frustration, they have never been able
to catch Roy in possession of the drugs which he uses regularly.
Both boys are completely helpless mentally and physically. When they are together the conversation revolves around drugs, who has been busted and who has gone off to the dreamland of India.
The police consider these boys as criminals who must be caught - the T Rex people think they are really hip and heroes. They are neither. They are two very sad people in a complete mess to which it is difficult to see an end.
And what does society do for these boys and the many young people like them? Well, it tuts and shakes its head when it reads about them in the papers, it sends them to prisons and mental homes when it sees them in court. Society turns its head and tries not to see - and perhaps if it ignores the problem it might go away.
In a society where many can afford cars, and Concorde can be built and wasted, why don't we open our eyes and try to help the young addicts? Why are there no rehabilitation centres with extensive after-care treatment? Even if the addicts are lucky enough to be physically cured, they are pushed back into the same society they dropped out of. They go straight back to their addict friends, feeling vulnerable and afraid.
In the whole of England there is only one organisation run by young people, with all the money raised solely by donations. Although this organisation is doing some wonderful work, the problem is too big for a small organisation to cope with.
The young addicts do not want to be lectured at; they know they are killing themselves; they do not want to be pitied; they just need help. Why is it not available?
The names in this article are not the real names of the people described.