Where mercy and justice meet


Addiction in one form or another – whether it’s to alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography or food-related – affects us all, whether it has gripped us personally, someone in our family or neighbourhood, or whether it’s via the £3.5 billion per year it costs the NHS to treat alcohol dependence alone. It is estimated that 2.6 million children in Britain live with parents who drink hazardously. More than five per cent of 16 to 24 year olds are frequent drug users, and there are an estimated one million people in Britain who have a drug problem. Around 700,000 adults in England and Scotland are either moderate-risk or problem gamblers. Every second, £2,000 is spent on pornography, and the NHS treated 500,000 STDs in 2015. At least 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder. The Church is responding to the problem of addiction in a variety of ways.

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