On Monday the 7th of May 2012 I ran the Belfast Marathon to raise funds for AddictionNI. It is a charity very close to my heart. A close family member of mine is an alcoholic and over the years I've watched it rob him of his physical and mental health, job and relationships.
He has asked for help many times and we have repeatedly tried to get him enrolled in detox programmes, however they will only take people sober and in good health. I don't think I need to explain how frustrating this is. As an alcoholic he is never sober and rarely well therefore not a suitable candidate.
Why is help for addicts in Northern Ireland so limited and difficult to access?
This is why I champion AddictionNI. I am refreshed by their approach of an open door policy.
Anyone is able to access their advice and support and I feel this is how it should be. When people are finally ready to admit that they have a problem and seek help we should make it as easy as possible for them to access treatment.
AddictionNI recognise that addiction doesn't just affect the addict. It has a massive impact on everyone that loves and cares about them. I think it's amazing that these people can also avail of the AddictionNI support services and I hope through fundraising like mine and yours that they can offer their help for a long time to come.