Those of you with longer memories will know that Weston used to have a problem with drugs. Addicts from all around Britain were referred to Weston’s rehabs and, since some dropped out and relapsed, we ended up with far more addicts than a town of our size should have.
Worse still, while some of our rehabs were (and are) world class, a few were awful; hotspots for crime which gave the good rehabs a bad name too.
Most of those problems were fixed a decade ago. Great teamwork from local police, housing, health and fire teams forced the bad rehabs to clean up or close down. I called it the Cleaner Weston Campaign and, while no community can ever be completely free from drugs, things have been far better since.
So you can imagine the worry at one of my regular updates with the Community Safety and Drug Action Team, when new problems started appearing. This time it’s poor-quality ‘dry houses’ rather than rehabs and, while it’s nothing like the scale of before, it’s important to nip problems in the bud before they grow bigger.
The team and I hatched a plan. I’m going to contact Public Health England to see whether there’s a national trend in addiction which might be affecting Weston too. And I’m also contacting the top brass in the Probation and Prison Services about which ‘dry houses’ they’ve been sending addicts to once they finish their sentences. Weston has some really good ‘dry houses’ which give addicts a great chance of staying off drugs. But some are terrible and we need to make sure ex-cons steer clear of them, because their chances of staying on the straight and narrow are much better if they do.
Weston fought and won this battle once already. Let’s win this one too.