FAVOR UK and it’s partners would like to thank everyone who has met with us over the last 3 months regarding our Right to Recovery Bill . We wish to extend an extra thanks to those who took part in the consultation with an open mind to what it will bring. Finally an even more extended thanks to all of you who “got it”, and who “get” the principles and supported what we are trying to achieve – a true rights based foundation on which future drug and alcohol policy can be built.
For too many years we have stood by helplessly while friends, & family members die needlessly and watched while our communities become more traumatised by the day.
Not only did we witness friends and family die, we often watched in slow motion as they, and we, reached out for help that more often than not wasn’t there in sufficient quantity or of sufficient quality for it to be of any value. Meanwhile most services and charities that are supposed to be serving them either remained silent, taking valuable contracts, some sitting for a decade or more asleep at the wheel while our loved ones died.
We have witnessed a sector consumed by brutal self-harm, lack of unity and the continued polarisation of harm reduction versus recovery services by politicians and organisations who offer senseless justifications for being opposed to what could be a life giving Bill.
If these organisations were in any way professional or cared about trying to help change our current system to stop the deaths they would have accepted early invitations to take part in conversations with us before the consultation; each and every one of them were contacted to do so, an invite that would have allowed us all to take time and help shape the content together. Instead they have chosen to oppose a real rights based approach for opposition’s sake – offering no alternative in its place. Many of these orgs show responses that look like sour grapes of either “it wasn’t our idea so we aren’t going to support it” or creating a response based on which political party supported us to submit it. Many of these responses are also littered with inaccuracies around the legal system, responses that could have been fixed by meeting with us and our legal Counsel, but instead choosing to create myths that are easily torn apart.
We didn’t work on a proposed ‘Bill’ out of choice. Rights are important to us all, but only true enforceable rights will work. It’s been evidenced in many sectors that the alternative, local authority or service provider discretion, just creates more hurdles and multiple unaccountable levels of gatekeeping. So why is a sector so vested in the terms “rights based” or “service user led” so against a real rights based approach to accessing treatment? Maybe they will answer that eventually.
It’s time to let others lead our field now, to banish the self preserving, immature and bullying attitudes of the past. We can create a true rights based future that provides hope to our friends and family. We can’t bring our dead back, but we can take the decision to ensure we hold people to account when it happens again.
It’s time for real change, for real rights.
Thanks again for all your continued support.
FAVOR UK & Partners