A Casualty of Care in the Community

Those Ubermenschen at the Mail on Sunday seem to believe that drug addiction and genuine mental/physical illness cannot co-exist.  I’d like to tell you about an old friend of mine: Karl, a tall, cadaverous man. I remember having to  crane my neck to talk to him.  I saw him as basically decent. I’ve never heard about him using physical violence on anyone.  He was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in his teens and lived in sheltered accommodation for most of his adult life.  He was not terribly well educated but he can recite The Parrot Sketch word for word.  

On his fortieth birthday he decided he wanted to be completely independent.  This was probably the worst choice he has ever made. After red tape and bureaucracy were dealt with, the authorities moved him into a council flat.  On a sink estate with his fellow untermenschen. The local drug addicts homed in on him.  Those people smell blood and, like most predators, they hunt in packs.  They pretended they were his friends, they got him addicted to heroin at the age of forty, they used his home as a crack den.  It took a long time for the police to become involved.  Far too long.  They arrested the dealers and cleared Karl’s flat. They did not arrest Karl or charge him with any crime.  He was homeless for a while and then moved back into sheltered accommodation.  He is still addicted to heroin.

A poster boy for the failure of the Care in the Community policy if ever there was one.

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