It is difficult for those with no experience of addiction to imagine the destruction this illness can cause. Becoming physically and emotionally dependent on a particular substance can have a devastating impact on so many people. The person with the addiction faces the physical and mental health worries while his or her family members are often left to pick up the pieces.
An alcohol or drug addiction has so many victims, and family life inevitably suffers. Those suffering an alcohol addiction, for example, will usually find that their work life suffers as they cannot work while under the influence, and they often miss days while recovering from bad hangovers. If work life begins to suffer, home life will generally follow suit as money gets tighter and the alcoholic drinks even more to try to deal with the stresses this causes.
Addiction can cause individuals to do things they would never consider were they not in the grip of this devastating illness. Take Simon Boam, for example; this father of seven squandered £25,000 from a charity he had set up in his daughter’s name. The money had been donated by the public to pay for specialised surgery required by Boam’s daughter, who suffers from Peters Plus Syndrome. She lost the sight in her right eye during surgery, and her condition is causing her left eye to fail too. The money raised was to take her to America to get treatment.
However, over the course of five years, Boam spent the money on buying cars and on feeding his £200 a day vodka habit. When the account was initially set up, Boam and business person Elizabeth Davies were co-signatories. Boam requested £900 to replace the engine on the car he needed to take his daughter to hospital appointments. Ms Davies agreed to release the money on the condition that Boam provided a receipt. Boam never produced the receipt; when he asked for more money, Ms Davies insisted on receipts.
She took her name off the account as a co-signatory when Boam persisted in asking for money without receipts. This left him in sole charge of the account, which he then plundered over the next five years.
Boam finally admitted to stealing from the account and was charged with one count of theft. He pleaded guilty, with his defence lawyer blaming his client’s alcohol addiction for his actions. He told of how Boam had been sober for ten years before relapsing when a relationship broke down. He went on to say that his client was ashamed of his actions. Nevertheless, despite his admission of guilt and his remorse, he was jailed for forty months.
Judge Nicholas Woodward said that it was a ‘serious breach of trust’, and added, “Not only for your daughter but your other children and the many members of the public who will have felt bitterly let down by what you have done.”
It is hard to imagine how any parent could steal money that was raised to help their child have a better quality of life. Those who have never experienced addiction find it difficult to understand the way those affected act, but the truth is that these sufferers often have no control over their actions. Their addiction is so strong that they will do almost anything that allows them to feed their habit.
Thankfully though, help is available for those suffering from an addiction. Rehab Helper is a free service that works hard to ensure addicts and their families get the help they need. If you or someone you love needs help for addiction, contact Rehab Helper today.