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Bury St Edmunds: Focus12 founder says people should not give up on beating addiction following Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death

PUBLISHED: 09:44 06 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:24 06 February 2014

Chip Somers, founder of Focus 12 in Bury St Edmunds.

Chip Somers, founder of Focus 12 in Bury St Edmunds.

The founder of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity in west Suffolk has urged people to try to take positives away from the tragic death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Chip Somers, founder and advisory patron of Focus12, based in Bury St Edmunds, said while the actor had relapsed and died following 22 years of abstinence, the positive to take away from the tragedy was that he had 22 years of productive life.

Mr Hoffman died from an apparent drugs overdose in his New York City apartment. He was found dead in his bathroom in the city’s Greenwich Village area on Sunday.

Mr Somers said: “He is an example of somebody who, for 22 years, was able to beat his addiction. He led a good life and he certainly would have died much sooner had he not found recovery.”

He added: “Drugs are dangerous and this is why [at Focus12] we say that the only way to deal with addiction is not to take any drugs.”

He said not everyone was successful at beating their addiction, but it was best to have tried.

“I don’t think people can be cured any more than people can be cured of cigarette addiction,” he said. “I think people understand that if you give up cigarettes you are always prone to relapsing back to smoking again, but I don’t think that prevents you from trying to stop. It’s worth endeavouring so as many people as possible will stop.

“You should never give up on people with addiction problems, but should persevere to get them to be drug free and hopefully support them in a way so that lasts a long time.”

The Orwell Bridge has reopened this morning after 80mph winds battered Suffolk and brought its closure.

Body positivity is a term that is bandied about a lot at the moment and that can make it sound flippant, unimportant and self indulgent, writes Kate Dickinson.

Major traffic disruption and storm damage is being reported across the region today as gusts of up to 80mph were recorded in Suffolk and north Essex.

An MP has told parliament 20 people died in instances when ambulances arrived late to emergencies in East Anglia during a spell of intense pressure over the Christmas period.

A teacher training scheme in Colchester which works with dozens of schools in the area has been rated ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted.

Several schools in Suffolk are to remain closed or open later this morning amid high winds.

Across Suffolk, dozens of bands, singers, solo acts, choirs and orchestras ply their trade on evenings and weekends as part of the county’s eclectic night time economy.

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