by Martin Newland
"TOO many people fail to understand that 75 per cent of people we help are innocent victims of drug abuse and alcoholism" says Fr Dunstan Thill, Executive Director of the Westminster Advisory Centre on Alcoholism and Drugs in its recently released Annual Report.
"It is neither Christian or caring simply to turn away in disgust or righteous indignation" at those who need to "regain sobriety and a sense of purpose in life," continues Fr Thill.
WACA has expanded dramatically over the past 13 years with a centre at Ebury Street, SW1 and other branches in Kingston, Purley and Guildford.
It deals primarily with the return to physical and mental health of drug users and alcoholics through attention to the "threefold" aspects of addiction.
Medical examination and treatment, psychological one-toone counselling and spiritual care for those who need it are on offer at the treatment centres which now cover greater London.
"The lifting of negative feelings towards alcoholism and drug abuse has increased those coming to us for help", Angela Wilton, head of the Ebury Street office told the Catholic Herald.
The WACA centre in Purley has witnessed an increase of their client list by 22 per cent and their counselling sessions have expanded by 230 per cent.
"With an increased demand for help and exorbitant overheads we are more in need of help than ever", said Fr Thill who also made an appeal for voluntary help in the Annual Report.
"Other major charities are putting in for funds and as they do smaller concerns get overlooked", he added.