Before Christmas saw the much deserved ‘retirement’ of our long-time friend, and fellow advocate and campaigner on the issue of addiction to prescription drugs, Barry Haslam.
Gathering in Oldham, on a typically grey, wet, windy and generally squally day, we were there to say a huge thank you, and remember the stellar work that Barry has put into advocating the need for dedicated addiction to prescription drug services to meet the needs of the 1000’s suffering from this addiction. Barry has campaigned vociferously over the years to increase awareness of this voluntary addiction. Passionate and committed he has managed to bring this issue increasingly to the fore of public conscientiousness; drawing on his own experiences he has highlighted the damaging and lasting effects this involuntary addiction can have on your physical and mental health.
The only way to combat this all-encompassing addiction is to ensure dedicated services are commissioned. Using stepped reduction in medication and talking therapies, services like ours can reduce prescription drug use and get to the root cause of the issues that originally led to the need for medication. ADS are committed to honouring Barry’s legacy and continuing to raise awareness and campaign on this most pertinent issue.
With speeches from ADS CEO, Rhona Bradley, and Barry, the occasion was a chance to recognise the work we have achieved together and reflect on the tireless effort Barry has put in over the years. Although this was technically a ‘retirement party’, and Barry will be taking a step back from campaigning, there is no doubt that Barry’s passion for raising awareness on this issue won’t diminish.
ADS would like to thank Barry for his commitment to the issue and his vital support; without his cooperation and dedication to highlighting the need for services, ADS would not have been able to achieve what we have in raising awareness for those addicted to prescription drugs, yet alone be able to provide our flagship service in Oldham. This is an issue that ADS strongly care about, and as a charity representing those less fortunate in society, a role we are committed to – standing up for those who need help and providing services that are for the many and not the few.