In many cases, addiction and mental health issues go hand in hand. Sometimes addiction to substances such as drugs and alcohol cause individuals to develop mental health problems such as anxiety disorder, depression, and paranoia. However, the opposite can also be true, with a large number of people turning to these chemicals to self-medicate when they are suffering from illnesses like depression.
Those who have a mental health problem and a substance addiction are considered as having a dual diagnosis and so need treatment for both issues. This specialised treatment is available here at Blue Skies Recovery. We have a team with experience and knowledge of how to treat this sensitive issue, and all treatment plans are created around the needs of the individual.
Mental health problems require specialist care but unfortunately, not everyone can access the treatment they require. The family of Craig Creedon, who was killed in December 2015 after jumping in front of a train, have spoken of their anger that he was allowed to leave a mental health unit just two hours before his death.
Craig had been struggling with severe depression since his father died in 2004, and on the day he died he had already threatened to kill himself by jumping from a block of flats. After this incident, police detained him under the mental health act and took him to Salford Royal Hospital. He was then transferred to the mental health unit at Meadowbrook, at which he was given a full psychiatric assessment. He remained at Meadowbrook for four hours, and his family claims that during that time they begged staff not to release him.
Craig’s mother Kathleen said that her son was dealing with his depression “in his own way” and was very private about his illness. She stated that he would self-medicate with alcohol and drugs and admits that there were occasions where he could drink up to nine litres of strong cider in one day.
She said that she and her family felt immense relief that Craig was finally going to get the help he needed once admitted to Meadowbrook, and added, “I told them whatever you do, don’t let him out. We were relieved that he actually got to Meadowbrook for his own safety, that he was going to get the help he needed. They asked if I thought he would do it again and I said yes, we know he will try to take his life.”
Ms Creedon said that staff told her the family would receive a phone call to update them on her son’s situation. She went on to say, “The next call I got was to say my son was dead.”
Katie Burke, who was Craig’s partner, said that she had also warned doctors of his previous threats to kill himself and of how he had been self-harming. She also made them aware that Craig had no problem telling others what they wanted to hear in order to get what he wanted.
The family was devastated to find out that Craig had been released after Meadowbrook staff said that Craig did not display any signs of being an immediate danger to himself or anyone else. They stated that it was not appropriate to section him under the Mental Health Act.
Staff had believed Craig’s story of going to the roof of the block of flats to be nearer to his dad, who he believed was in heaven. They say they were unaware that he had been found ‘dangling’ from the edge of the block of flats.
The family has stated that they blame staff at the Meadowbrook mental health unit for failing Craig and believe that the mental health service needs to be addressed because of ‘serious failings’.