Teenage girl struggling with heroin addiction is crowdfunding for rehabDecember 13, 2018
The family of a heroin-addicted teenager have made a desperate online appeal to fund rehab for their daughter.
Lauren Higgins, 19, is being treated at the Smarmore private clinic in Co Louth, Republic of Ireland.
Now family members have made a “life or death” plea so they can extender her stay at the facility, costing €3,500 (£3,100) per week.
The teenager, from West Belfast, is doing “really well and still engaged in the recovery programme”, her family say.
So far they have been able to pay for four weeks of the six week programme, but the money has run out and the fourth week of treatment will finish this weekend, Belfast Live reported .
In a post on a GoFundMe page hoped to help raise the extra cash, Lauren’s family say the “reality is if she’s not given a chance to recover she will die”.
In an open letter, Lauren has also asked for help to be home for Christmas for her "wee sister".
Her family say she has “has been let down by the current Trust services in relation to access to suitable and available rehabilitation”.
In a harrowing insight into the family’s struggle to help Lauren, they say she has had issues with self-harming since she was 12 and has spent time at Holywell Hospital in Antrim.
They say that just before Christmas last year she had a “major overdose” of heroin in Belfast city centre and was placed in intensive care.
The post adds: “A year on and she is still no closer to any suitable support or help to deal with her addiction or mental health. Recently she has been missing for weeks on end and in extremely risky situations.
“She finally came back to the family on Friday 9th November and asked for rehab.
"Here is the window of opportunity that so many others like her have but are failed by the system because when they reach out and ask for the help it’s just not there.
“Her family will do anything to help her and keep her alive because the reality is if she’s not given a chance to recover she will die. She has been given a place in Smaremore Castle private rehab and admission is on Monday.
"Her grandparents are paying the majority of the fees but we need help to ensure she gets the time she needs there they are asking for just under 3,500 euros per week and we are asking for your help to give our daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece and cousin a chance at recovery and survival.
“We know its a big ask but we are not prepared to lose her and let her become another statistic of how our health care system and government have failed her and many others like her.
"We love her and she is so precious to us we appreciate any help you can give. Lauren’s family x.”
The family are being helped by SDLP councillor Paul McCusker who says people “reaching out for help with addiction” are facing waits of at least six months for any kind of rehab.
He added: “It’s a life or death situation. Simple as that. This place is working for Lauren and there’s just no equivalent of it here. This is her only chance or beating this addiction.
"Her family have done all they can to pay for this, but at 3,500 euro a week it’s going to be hard for any family.”
In an open letter written by Lauren, she makes clear why it is so important she gets to see the treatment through to the end.
She says: “Hi, My name’s Lauren and I don’t know what to say but here it goes.
"I am currently in Smarmore private clinic and I am asking to see if someone could help provide financial help to allow me to complete this life saving treatment that I need.
“I am currently in recovery from my serious addiction and feel I have been let down by the NHS and the drug services in Belfast.
"I have never been in a place like Smarmore clinic and I am making good progress which my team can confirm.
“I have been in now for twenty three days and I feel I will be able to turn my life around if giving the chance to complete six weeks in Smarmore.
“I was in Dublin for three months homeless until I reached out to my family for help as I have been using drugs for four years and got myself in a very dark place.
"So, please help me not to become another statistic and make my Christmas, I have a wee sister who needs me.”
Top news stories from Mirror Online
Source: Read Full Article