Last night I received a call from a 19-year-old girl in tears as her life is in ruins because of her addiction to methedrone, ketamin and ecstasy. She has reached out to me for help to enter the long term FREE residential drug rehabilitation community in Italy called San Patrignano. The young girl has been taking drugs since she was 14 and she feels that she has nowhere to turn. Her mother is also an addict and her father cannot understand the destructive path that she has taken and he offers her no support. I fear for this young girl's life as when she phoned me she had been awake for three days as a result of taking a cocktail of drugs. I have reassured her that I will help as much as I can to enter San Patrignano.
Drugs have been making headlines again recently with the sad news of the death of Martha Fernback last weekend as a result of taking "Pink Ecstasy". Martha was just 15 and on a hot summer's day she died as a result of buying a "Pink Ecstasy" tablet for £3. Similar to the danger in taking MDMA, "Pink Ecstasy" can cause the body temperature to rise drastically resulting in death - 10 other people have died in the UK this year as a result of taking "Pink Ecstasy".
The young girl who called me last night is one of many now who are finding out that we have set up a San Patrignano Association in the UK. From heroin to cocaine and ecstasy the people who call me have realised that what San Patrignano offers is a long term solution that works and I am proud to say that I can now help anyone in this country who wants to enter the community. The approach to addiction at San Parignano is based on a social solution and not a medical one like here in the UK. The resident is given the opportunity to confront the reason why they took drugs in the first place and then over a long period of time they put their life back together piece by piece. With a 72% success rate it costs absolutely nothing to enter the community.
Last year I set up the UK San Parignano Asscociation here in the UK and next week will be a defining moment for me as I will fly to Italy with a young girl who contacted me in need of help. The process has been simple for her to enter the community, however, as is often the case with the young people who I am working with there have been many obstacles to overcome on the path to San Patrignano. This young girl has managed to detox by herself and also cope with the fact that she has lost her job. When we first met she said to me that she knows in her heart that even in her darkest moment and when she has been taking heroin she has had a glimmer of hope that one day she will find a long term solution to stop taking drugs - that solution is now within her grasp at San Patrignano.
San Patrignano's latest video that was written, shot and edited by the young people in the community:
For more information on the UK San Patrignano Association
San Patrignano also runs a Drugs Prevention programme called Wefree for young people