You matter your vote matters… so be noisy
We’re asking people affected by substance misuse to vote in the upcoming general election on Thursday 7 May 2015. It’s a request that as a ‘treatment service provider’ we have little reason to invest our resources in, but as a charity with a 45 year history in helping people get better we believe it is an important request.
One way of looking at the history of treatment and support for people with substance misuse problems is that we have all been on a learning process together. We have learnt as a society not to see people as problems but rather as individuals, family and community members. When Phoenix started 45 years ago the answer to substance misuse was to criminalise and institutionalise people. Now we have a world class treatment system. But there are still a huge number of myths propagated about addiction by people with their own vested interest and loud voices. Too many people without a voice are still excluded from appropriate treatment, and carers of people with substance misuse problems are unfortunately still treated as second class carers. We still have a lot to learn.
Engagement in the political process is likely to be lower and quieter than ever amongst our community, and many people will be more than happy to speak on your behalf about how you should be treated and how you should live your life. Those noisier people will be heard by influential decision makers if you don’t use your own vote and your own voice to represent yourself. If we want to keep learning about how we can make healthier and more recovery friendly communities we need to be noisy. Vote for whoever you feel represents your interests, but please vote.
Register to vote before 20th April at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote