Addicts Language and a Life of Dubious Virtue


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By Georgina Wakefield

ISBN: 978-1-84747-752-1
Published: 2009
Pages: 205
Key Themes: poetry, prose, real life, addiction, schizophrenia



The book consists of 30 Nursery Rhymes and 6 true case histories about Addicts the Author met during research for the book.

Craig O’halloran was found dead in the gutter after overdosing on Heroin. His Sister gave permission for his name to be used and for his diary charting the last months of his life to be used.
Other chapters include information about Narcotics Anonymous meetings attended by the Author.

Georgina Wakefield felt compelled to write this book because of the growing body of evidence that points to the risks that illegal drugs use can be a trigger for the onset of mental disorders. Her son Christian suffers from Schizophrenia and while Georgina does not maintain that illegal drugs caused his illness she does feel that their use may have played a part in it’s beginnings.

About the Author

Georgina Wakefield has been both a Service Users and a Carer she runs a small Management Consultancy entitled “Spotlight On Schizophrenia” and has developed her work, delivering ‘The Carers Perspective’ over the last 10+ years. She writes books, poems and supports material with family photo’s .Her family have been involved in 6 videos and TV programmes about mental illness, and the impact on families.
Her family support her, with her husband Paul she attends events and speaks publicly all over the Country. Georgina works for The Institute of Psychiatry on 3 Nurse training Courses other clients include various Universities and NHS Trusts. She has an overriding passion to raise the profile of severe mental illness.

quote: “We must do all we can to help people to see that this can happen to any one of us at anytime in our lives. Anyone unlucky enough to become a victim of such a tragic life event deserves our utmost respect”

Book Extract

Every day young lives are being wrecked by Cannabis. The desperate and frantic concerns of Parents up and down the Country are going unnoticed.

Society seems to be sleepwalking into accepting and tolerating this highly dangerous drug. It is time for Society to wake up to the fact that, by tolerating Cannabis, it is risking the mental health of our children and leaving a dreadful legacy for future generations to sort out. The use of Cannabis has dramatically increased over the past 20 years, particularly amongst young people. Cannabis is now the most popular illicit drug in the western world, with over 60 per cent of school children having tried it, 7% are daily users by the time they are 20. Cannabis is the first illegal drug for 77% of users compared to crack 1% and ecstasy 4%. There are calls for MP’s, Journalists, Lawyers, people from all walks of life for a more tolerant attitude towards Cannabis. Yet the fears and cries from desperately worried families go unheard and unnoticed.

Those who have worked in Mental Health have known for years that Cannabis can have disastrous effects on certain individuals. The anecdotal evidence is screaming at us. Even in our own close circle of friends there are two families who are at their wits end trying to cope with their sons both hooked on Cannabis and both totally disengaged with life. Three years ago my own son collapsed at a disco after bingeing all night on Cannabis. When he woke up he had voices in his head, he still has them today. The family is still trying to pick up the pieces.

The anecdotal evidence is now being backed up by hard research; last year the British Medical Journal reported on research in Australia, which linked Cannabis with mental health problems. It showed that early use of Cannabis can lead to depression in later life, especially among women. Cannabis can provoke anxiety and paranoia. Frequent use of Cannabis can also trigger Psychotic episodes.

The key message from the many studies around the globe is that Cannabis can be highly dangerous to both those with a predisposition to mental illness and to those being treated for it. But, still Society sleep walks in to tolerating it. One of the main problems in our view is the lack of knowledge. Society has yet to wake up to the fact that today’s Cannabis is up to 30 times powerful than the Cannabis used in the 60’s. In a survey done by the Guardian last year 98 per cent believed that Cannabis was safe. This is an appalling indictment on the Government’s education policy. To downgrade Cannabis to a class C drug without warning the public of its inherent dangers is in our view tantamount to gross negligence. In Holland where Cannabis is more freely used fewer children actually take it than in the UK. Why? Because the Dutch Government has drug education aimed at children focusing on the dangers of Cannabis. Young people in Holland are being given an informed choice, unlike young people in this Country. Our government appears to be preoccupied with the legal issues of Cannabis instead of informing and promoting the dangers of it. By downgrading Cannabis the government sent a message to millions of young people that Cannabis is ok.

This was not the Governments intention, but sadly it was the result. While decriminalisation may or may not be a good idea, the central question is surely whether the drug is safe. The answer to this is clearly no. It is essential therefore that the Government take hold of this whole debate. They must warn young people of the inherent dangers of Cannabis. They must tell them that taking Cannabis is like playing Russian roulette with their mental health. Failure to do so will result in more lives being wrecked and more families living in despair.


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