People addicted to drugs are a very challenging section of society to work with – difficult, unresponsive and often depressing. Rehabilitation work is very demanding. The most successful projects need more than simple concern: they need huge extra resources of patience and love – which usually only come through faith in a loving God. In the industrialised world rehabilitation often begins with detoxification – using a cocktail of substitute drugs to help the body gradually off its dependence on hard drugs. However, this method is expensive and often not available to many groups. So we have included case studies of groups who use ‘cold turkey’ – coming off drugs without the help of any substitute drugs.

Drug abuse is a huge and rapidly growing problem. It is easy to ignore it – until it reaches your own community. All of us – and particularly young people – need to be fully aware of the dangers and risks involved in order to prevent this enormous problem from ruining still more lives. The abuse of nicotine is also covered. However, we have not had space to look at the abuse of alcohol – another addictive drug which wrecks countless lives and families.

We hope the ideas for using puppets to communicate will help raise discussion and debate of this and other issues.

by Isabel Carter