Many people around the UK suffer in silence with a drug addiction. There is still a stigma around this illness that puts many addicts off seeking help as they are frightened of what others will think of them. Addiction is nothing to be ashamed of, but because of the media, this stigma is stronger than ever, and most of those affected will be embarrassed to tell others. It is for this reason that many charities and addiction services work tirelessly to reach out to addicts to let them know that they are not alone and that they will not be judged when seeking help. An example of this is the Teen Challenge Belfast programme, which is currently running across Northern Ireland with the aim of letting affected individuals know that they will be supported with their addiction there.
Loving, Caring Environment
Teen Challenge Belfast aims to prevent as many drug-related deaths in Northern Ireland as possible by letting people know that there is support available and that no one should suffer alone. Thirty-seven-year-old Lee McClelland, Pastor of the Ark Church Belfast and leader of Teen Challenge, explained, “We offer a loving, caring environment. We have compassion towards their circumstances, and we will do whatever we can to help them break free from addiction. When it comes to addiction, the families can often feel like there is a lack of help. We want to let people know there is help outside the system. There are a lot of people crying out for help and haven’t heard of our organisation because we’re not government funded.”
Services for Those in Need
Originally, the service was just a mobile bus drop-in clinic that started in February 2008. The name of the project comes from a book named The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson; he worked with volunteers on the streets of Brooklyn who supported drug and alcohol addicts and gang members through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their drop-in clinic is situated at May Street Church in the heart of Belfast, and it offers ‘outreach lunches’ and café facilities for those in need.
Not Just a Quick Fix
Despite the team being a Christian group, they want to ensure that people are aware that they have helped and will continue to help individuals from all communities in the city. They are currently in the concluding stages of expanding their services to other areas of Belfast where they feel that individuals are most in need. Lee explained, “We don’t just offer a quick fix. We have a one-year long residential programme; we have 20 people currently on that. It not only helps them through their addiction, but it helps them develop on their social and working skills.”
Overcoming Your Addiction
If you have any concerns in regards to a loved one battling a drug addiction, then please do not hesitate to contact us here at Blue Skies Recovery as soon as possible. Our aim is to help as many people as we can to overcome their addiction. Our clinic is designed to ensure that patients will feel comfortable and safe here while going through treatment to beat their addiction.
Our staff are also friendly and welcoming and will endeavour to help you feel fully supported at all times. If you would like further information or have any queries, then get in touch with us today, and we will do everything in our power to help you or your loved one move into recovery as soon as possible.
Source: Teen Challenge Belfast is aiming to tackle increasing cases of drug deaths (Belfast Live)