- Mary McCall and Chris Clements
- BBC News Scotland
Fred Barry acknowledges his triumphant addiction over the past 20 years with his visit to the private Castle Craig Rehabilitation Clinic in the Scottish Borders.
Barry, 66, says recovering from alcoholism is the best thing that has happened in his life, and he is now a cellist, music teacher, husband and father.
When his son Adam started his battle with addiction, he sent him to the same clinic in the hope that he would be cured of his addiction.
But on May 6, 2021, Adam died in his bedroom after allegedly having a seizure, or a sudden increase in electrical activity in the brain, caused by alcohol withdrawal symptoms. He was not more than thirty-two years old.
“I could not enter his room to see him, but had to call the firefighters to help me,” said Barry. “It was terrible, very terrible. That should not have happened. “
“We often feel angry about addicts, but for their families they feel tormented when they see what is happening to their loved ones.
“But I was also aware of the torment Adam was going through, he was suffering, but he could not find a way out.”
Barry, from the Scottish city of Glasgow, describes his son Adam as a sweet, very intelligent young man who would always read two or three books at a time.
“We had this idea of what an alcoholic would look like, but Adam was not,” he says.
Adam’s addiction started to take hold when he started studying chemistry at the University of St Andrews and failed some of his exams, which led to him leaving school altogether.
Disillusioned by substance abusers, Barry paid £ 15,000 to rehabilitate Adam at Castle Craig Clinic, which he said helped his son keep his non-alcoholic body for almost a period of time. 3 Years.
When he received treatment at the same clinic in 2000, Barry says, the National Health Insurance Agency and the Social Services Authority paid for his treatment.
But in 2017, when Adam entered the University of Glasgow, his addiction problems began.
“During that whole time, we thought Adam had mental health issues related to his addiction,” says Barry.
“But overcoming these problems was impossible. It was not possible to show him to a psychiatrist. The help given to us was small and in separate stages, and it was his responsibility to be on a specific time to go to a specific place.
“When you suffer from addiction, chaos is the dominant feature of your life, and you do not know what time or what day it is, and yet they are waiting for you to go on the dates they specify.”
“All you can do is lock him up.”
Eventually, Adam’s addiction started to get out of hand, and he was then unemployed and still living with his parents.
His father says he spent his unemployment benefits on alcohol and then stopped drinking it when the money ran out – a process that led to him being admitted to hospital for seizures.
During the first six months before his death, Adam was hospitalized 6 times for treatment of seizures.
The family wanted to send him back to the rehabilitation clinic, but they could not afford it. At the time, Barry says, Adam was too ill to agree to further treatment as his health deteriorated.
Barry calls on the Scottish Government to improve addiction treatment services, including rehabilitation centers and clinics.
“One of the doctors told me there is nothing you can do to help the addict, all you can do is lock him up and get rid of the key – he told me before Adam in the hospital, ”says Barry.
“[إعادة التأهيل] This is the treatment Adam would have chosen. But not only did he have to spend 6 weeks in rehabilitation, he needed much longer, and he had to follow a specific regime after he was discharged. “
Record number of deaths due to addiction
In August, Scotland’s National Statistics Office showed that alcohol-related deaths had risen to a 10-year high.
It increased by 17 percent from the previous year to 1,190 deaths, the most since 2008.
The Scottish Conservative Party has proposed a “right to recovery” bill that would guarantee everyone the right to receive treatment for addiction, including accommodation in rehabilitation centers.
The party said last Friday that a poll conducted to consult the public showed that 77 percent of respondents supported the bill.
Dr Sandesh Gulhani, a party member and shadow health minister, said: “We believe in the right to recovery [من الإدمان] This is a very important part of the solution, and I am pleased with the very positive response from stakeholders, who know that it is a reasonable bill that has been drafted in consultation with addicts.
“Currently, there are far too many people with addiction issues who do not get the help they need, but this legislation will preserve their right to receive potentially life-saving treatment, also in rehabilitation in residential areas.”
And Angela Constance, the Minister for Drug Policy, says the Scottish Government has committed £ 250 million to improve addiction services over five years.
Constance added: “The Scottish Government is well prepared to consider the bill, and we are also looking forward to studying the public consultation analysis and the draft bill.
“As that process continues, we are focused on taking action now and making new investments to improve services and save lives.”
SLP spokeswoman for anti-drug policy, Claire Baker, says the party will support any proposals that save lives.
“There is no magic bullet for this issue – we must use everything we have now to provide the treatment and support needed to help people,” she said.