My son has been addicted to hard drugs for many years. I have always stood by him, with empathy for all those in the same situation. However, I could never have imagined how long and painful the experience would be. Over the years the constant stress and frustration wore me down.

Eventually, I found a way to channel my hopes and fears. I began by scribbling in notebooks, writing down every emotion and every thought, good or bad. I could open my heart because it was just for me. Much later the notes became poetry of sorts. I hope my poems can be appreciated by both the person using drugs/alcohol and carers. Of course I could never really know how terrible addiction is for people but if one poem manages to stir feelings of hope or love for themselves, I would be overjoyed.

Jennifer Dockray, carer

Poison Mission

Down the skinny ginnel

Through the creaky gate

On a poison mission

Let the punter wait

This is power

This is wealth

Who cares about

The smack-head’s health?

‘I’ said the mother

Through her tears

Still hoping after

All these years

Her mission has

A different goal

Her only dream

Her child made



Policemen, teachers, politicians

You and me and top physicians

Where will it end we all despair

Where is God and does he care?

Each sleepless night, each sad tear shed

Empty purses, habits fed.

Kids on pavements all alone

Faces hollowed to the bone

I’m weary yes I’m no spring chicken

This drug’s nightmare takes some licking

It’s hold on folks has foxed the best

Broke many a heart put to the test

Thank you God for this new day

Another chance to find a way

Another bash to put things right

Another bout to win the fight

For when we think that all is lost

Life offers us a chink, a flame relit

A battery charged we race back

From the brink.

The Gift

Who will say enough is enough

Who cares as much as I?

Who feels you pain in every vein

And sees with brimming eye

I am your rod, your leaning post

I made you every cell

I was your first and willing host

Can I free you from hell

Who stops the rot, who sears the wound

Who is brave enough to try

I will join you on the battleground

But this gift is for you not I

*** Thank you to Jennifer for sharing these powerful words. If you are affected by the drug and/or alcohol use of someone you know, we are here to support you. Visit or call the advice line on 0113 380 4300 for more information.