We all have our opinions on what causes drug and alcohol abuse. Our opinions are based on our own experiences, whether direct or indirect, but also by the stigmatization and stereotypes that prevail relentlessly in our minds, regardless of the facts. But what are the facts? Once thought to be a problem for the ‘poor’ substance abuse problems in the UK could not fit into this category any less easily if it tried – if you have picked up a news paper or read a magazine in the last decade surely it is obvious that drink and drugs can effect all of us, regardless of social status or the state of our bank balance? As Neil McKeganey (Professor of Drug Misuse Research at the University of Glasgow) states in the attached article, ‘Yes, drug taking proliferates in areas of social breakdown but it also causes social breakdown. Abuse has also now spread across all social classes, and among the rich and the famous.’ So when will we (our population and our government) start to see addiction problems for what they are…a disease which can effect all of us, despite our social background, upbringing and socio-economic status?