Addaction is a British charity founded in 1967 that supports people to make positive behavioural changes, most notably with alcohol and drug misuse, and mental health. The charity works extensively throughout England and Scotland, with an administrative base in Farringdon, central London.
In February 1967 The Guardian published an article written by a mother whose son was addicted to heroin. The author was a woman called Mollie Craven, and she appealed for additional parents like herself to form an association.
"At present", she wrote, "us parents of addicts are a neglected and ignored group. Some parents have eventually despaired of their child and closed their doors. Perhaps with help and encouragement they might be able to try again with a fuller understanding of the problem, and with support".
Out of this article an organisation called the Association of the Parents of Addicts (APA) was born. At first APA delivered a small number of services funded by grants and private fund-raising. When more harm reduction policies were introduced in the UK to reduce the spread of blood-borne disease, APA developed their treatment services accordingly.
Relationships were built with Government, and policy-makers were invited to visit the services themselves. When illicit drug use and availability of drugs in the UK increased, APA campaigned for more and better treatment responses, including greater and earlier interventions with children, young people and families.
Renaming as Addaction
In 1997 APA changed its name to Addaction. As of 2016 the charity provided services to over 75,000 people a year in sites across the country from Argyle and Bute down to Cornwall in England. Over 100 services offer drug and alcohol treatment support to adults, young people and families in community-based programmes, and there are dedicated mental health services, operating under the name Thinkaction.