Bury St Edmunds: Focus 12 drug and alcohol addicition centre supported by Amy Winehouse opens new annexe

ALMOST exactly a year after Amy Winehouse’s death, the founder of a Suffolk rehabilitation centre has said more people are now seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction.

Speaking at the launch of The Annexe, a new counselling service offered by Focus 12 in Bury St Edmunds, chief executive Chip Somers said he thought the singer’s plight had had a huge impact on those considering seeking help.

He added that due to the use of increasingly destructive drugs and pressures caused by the financial climate, he expected more people to require a one-on-one service like that provided by The Annexe and Focus 12.

“There is an increasing awareness and change in attitudes towards addiction issues. I think everyone knows someone with dependency problems and people’s attitudes are more sympathetic,” he said.

“Whenever someone with a high public profile says ‘I’m receiving treatment’ or ‘I’m in rehabilitation’ it has a profound impact on making the idea of giving up drugs or seeking help more attractive.”

Mr Somers said: “More and more young people are developing problems and are also getting in trouble quicker because the drugs being used, like ketamine, are dramatically destructive.

“I think in the next few years more people will be in need of individual counselling.”

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The Annexe, on St Johns Street, Bury St Edmunds, which along with individual counselling for depression and dependency, will offer family services, was officially opened by Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch earlier this year.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation previously donated �30,000 to the independent charity to sponsor a full-time place for a young person battling their addiction.

Lisa Climie, a trustee at Focus 12, said The Annexe would provide a calm space for therapy away from Focus 12’s main building in Risbygate Street.

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