19 October 2021
The Duchess of Cambridge has warned no one is “immune” to addiction.
The 39-year-old duchess delivered the keynote speech for the Forward Trust’s ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign on Tuesday (19.10.21), where she warned of the necessity of exploring the issues that lead a person to become dependent.
She said: “Addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune. It is all too rarely discussed as a serious mental health condition and seldom do we take the time to uncover and fully understand its fundamental root causes.
“The journey towards addiction is often multi-layered and complex. But, by recognizing what lies beneath addiction, we can help remove the taboo and shame that sadly surrounds it. “
And Catherine encouraged more “compassion and empathy” towards those battling addiction issues.
She said: “As a society, we need to start from a position of compassion and empathy. Where we nurture those around us, understand their journey, and what has come before them.”
The duchess – who has three children with husband Prince William – highlighted how the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns have had a “devastating impact” because people increasingly turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.
She said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on addiction rates. And families and children are having to cope with addiction in greater numbers than ever before.
“We know that over one and a half million people across the UK who did not have substance misuse prior to lockdown may now be experiencing problems associated with increased alcohol consumption.
“Around 2 million individuals who were identified as being in recovery, may have experienced a relapse over the past 18 months.
“Yet, there is hope. Over the last ten years, I have had the privilege of meeting many incredible people who have lived through the harsh realities of addiction. Through their own hard work, and with the help from communities and charities, such as The Forward Trust, lives really are being turned around.
On her way to the event in London, Catherine – who became a patron of Forward Trust in June – was surprised to bump into ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly and joked she was “in trouble” in case they wanted her to do one of their “tucker trials”.
Dec quipped: “We can arrange that.”
But the pair were there so Ant could speak about his own struggles with addiction.
He said: “It was bad. But as soon as you open up the problem starts to disappear and it gets better.”