Catherine, Princess of Wales is urging drug abusers to ignore the “shame of addiction” and ask for help.
The mum-of-three, 40, released a video message of support for addicts on Saturday (29.10.22) as part of her role as patron of addiction recovery charity The Forward Trust.
She said in her clip, which also marked the first day of Addiction Awareness Week and the ‘Taking Action on Addiction Campaign’: “Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, race or nationality.
“As patron of The Forward Trust, I have met many people who have suffered from the effects of addiction.
“Attitudes to addiction are changing. But we are not there yet, and we need to be. Still the shame of addiction is stopping people and families asking for help and people are still tragically losing their lives.”
Appearing to speak from her home as she was sitting on a sofa with framed photographs of her family in the background, she continued: “We as a society need to recognise that the only way to help those suffering is to try and understand what has led them to addiction, to empathise with them and to be compassionate to their struggles.
“And so today, during Addiction Awareness Week, I want to share a message of support to those who are continuing to suffer.
“Please know that addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict.
“I want you to know that this is also a serious health condition. Please do not let shame hold you back from getting the help you so desperately need.
“The charities leading the ‘Taking Action on Addiction Campaign’, along with others, are working across the country delivering life changing work to help people recover and move forward.
“They are here for you. So please ask for help. I know this was not a choice. Recovery is possible.”
The ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign aims to reframe perceptions of addiction, as well as building awareness of the causes and nature of addiction.
Mike Trace, chief executive of the cause, said: “Addiction Awareness Week speaks directly to people impacted by addiction, offering support and understanding so that more people ask for and receive help.”