30 October 2022

Princess of Wales urges those suffering with addiction not to be ashamed to seek help

30 October 2022

The Princess of Wales has urged those suffering with an addiction to not let shame hold them back from getting help.

Kate, patron of addiction recovery charity The Forward Trust, said addiction is “a serious health condition” and “not a choice”.

Her message of support for the Taking Action on Addiction campaign comes in the form of a video on the first day of Addiction Awareness Week.

In the video, Kate appears to be speaking from home as she is sitting on a couch with framed family photographs visible behind her.

She says: “Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, race or nationality.

“As patron of The Forward Trust, I have met many people who have suffered from the effects of addiction.

No one chooses to become an addict

“Attitudes to addiction are changing. But we are not there yet, and we need to be. Still the shame of addiction is stopping people and families asking for help and people are still tragically losing their lives.

“We as a society need to recognise that the only way to help those suffering is to try and understand what has led them to addiction, to empathise with them and to be compassionate to their struggles.

“And so today, during Addiction Awareness Week, I want to share a message of support to those who are continuing to suffer.

“Please know that addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict.

“I want you to know that this is also a serious health condition. Please do not let shame hold you back from getting the help you so desperately need.

“The charities leading the Taking Action on Addiction Campaign, along with others, are working across the country delivering life changing work to help people recover and move forward.

“They are here for you. So please ask for help. I know this was not a choice. Recovery is possible.”

Led by The Forward Trust alongside a number of charity partners, the Taking Action on Addiction campaign aims to reframe existing perceptions of addiction, build awareness of the causes and nature of addiction, improve understanding, reduce prejudice and enable more people to get help.

Mike Trace, chief executive of The Forward Trust, said: “Addiction Awareness Week speaks directly to people impacted by addiction, offering support and understanding so that more people ask for and receive help.

“At a time when addiction is growing across the UK it is crucial we build awareness of its causes and act quickly to stop this tide, to get in early to reduce the impact on families and children, and make sure that people are able to access the support and treatment that we know makes recovery from addiction possible.”

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