Don't stigmatise addicts

The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon has asked people to be sympathetic towards people struggling with drug or alcohol addictions.

The Right Reverend John Davies said it was too easy to stigmatise addicts and blame them for their situation.

He said the vast majority of addicts had turned to drugs or alcohol out of despair or because they could not cope with pressures in their life.

"It's just too easy to caricature those with addictions and to stigmatise them as selfish or stupid," the bishop said.

"All too often addiction results from traumatic experiences in life or even an inability to cope with life, an inability which leads some people to seek refuge in addictive substances and behaviours. For those who turn to drugs it can be the first step on a very slippery slope, the end of which can be the ruin of their lives and the lives of those around them."

The bishop was speaking at this week's official opening of the Kaleidoscope Centre, in Llandrindod Wells, which will provide support to addicts in the area.

There are Kaleidoscope Centres across England and Wales, and the charity has its roots in a Baptist church in Kingston-upon-Thames.