Addiction centre in spotlight

Date published: 26 October 2012

SHADOW Health Secretary Andy Burnham put the spotlight on prescription-drug addiction when he visited Oldham.

The MP spent part of the morning at Addiction Dependency Solutions (ADS) in Greaves Street where he met clients and staff.

He learned how ADS had made a difference to people’s lives and how involuntary addiction had an impacted on employment and education.

ADS Oldham provides an innovative benzodiazepine-withdrawal service tailored to individual need. It was set up eight years ago in response to concerns by Oldham Primary Care Trust about benzodiazepine prescribing by local GPs.

ADS Oldham service manager Stephen Samuel said: “People attending ADS Oldham have been blighted by addiction and are now entering a new chapter in their lives.”

Mr Burnham said afterwards: “I found it an incredibly interesting and worthwhile experience. It is a wonderful charity that greatly benefits the community of Oldham.”

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams accompanied Mr Burnham and said afterwards: “I look forward to continuing to work with Andy to highlight the issue of addiction to prescription drugs in parliament.”

Barry Haslam, a local campaigner and expert on the subject, also met Mr Burnham: “I believe he is in a fantastic position to put this issue at the forefront of political debate,” he said.

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