HOMELESS people battling drink and drug addictions need a new approach to help them find a way out - say service users at Worksop hostel HOPE for Homeless.
Couple Shaun Willott and Giselle Baez, along with their friend Wayne Emmingham, gave evidence at John Mann’s Drugs and Alcohol Inquiry, held on 31st January and 1st February.
Shaun, originally from Harworth, and Giselle, suddenly found themselves homeless after Shaun’s roofing job in Belgium fell through last year and say there were shocked by the difficulties faced by homeless people in Worksop.
“It’s very disturbing - you see all kinds of things going on here. Someone came in with a hammer recently smashing up the windows - they were on MCAT,” said Shaun, aged 26.
“It also really affects people’s mental health - I’ve seen one man arguing with someone who wasn’t there.”
Giselle, 35, is originally from Holland and said she was shocked to witness the drugs culture in the UK first-hand.
“Holland is known as a place where people go to take drugs but the culture is very different out there - people don’t use drugs the way they do here,” she said.
“We do have addicts, but people tend to use it occasionally at the weekend and they still go to work and take care of their families.”
She added: “I have noticed that people here don’t talk about the future of what type of life they want or of the hobbies they would like to do.”
“They are so down and don’t see the point in trying to get a normal life away from drugs and alcohol.”
Wayne, 31, of Worksop, started taking drugs when he was just 10 and slowly watched his life spiral out of control - moving on to harder drugs and spending several years in prison.
He has been on methadone for four years and said he is desperate to start a new life and leave the past behind him.
“I have lost my two kids through this and it plays on my mind every single day. All I want to do is find a job and a place to live and then I know I can start to sort things from there,” he said.
“But it’s very hard and I know many employers wouldn’t look twice if they knew someone was on methadone.”
“Methadone doesn’t solve everything - it doesn’t give people things to do to occup their lives. I want to come off it - you’re only going to score it from the chemists. It’s no different.”
Wayne said he had definitely seen an increase in the use of MCAT, adding that more needed to be done to educate people about the dangers of the drug.
“It’s cheap - it costs just £10 a gram and that will last you all day. You can buy £10 of heroin but you would need much more,” he said
“It’s scary to see what it can do to a piece of meat, so you can only imagine what damage it is doing to your body.”