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Prince William chats with recovering addicts about legalising drugs at visit to Shoreditch charity

PUBLISHED: 17:04 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:46 20 September 2017

The Duke of Cambridge in the Restoration Station workshop with volunteer and former client Bernard Bristow. Picture: David Rose/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge in the Restoration Station workshop with volunteer and former client Bernard Bristow. Picture: David Rose/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge quizzed recovering addicts about their thoughts on legalising drugs during a visit to a Shoreditch recovery charity today.

William was at the Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), which has been helping addicts for 50 years to chat to service users, while also taking a tour of its training workshop Restoration Station.

He said: “Can I ask you a very massive question - it’s a big one - there’s obviously a lot of pressure growing in areas about legalising drugs and things like that. What are your individual opinions on that?

“I know it’s a big question, but you seem like the key people to actually get a very good idea as to, you know, what are the big dangers there - what are the feelings?”

Heather Blackburn, 49, was the first to reply and said she thought the legalisation of drugs was a good idea.

She added: “Most of the people I’ve known in recovery, 95 per cent, had massive trauma and terrible stuff happen to them and using drugs to cope and then you get put in prison, you don’t get the facilities and the actual help you need, you get punished.

“Which is not going to help anyone taking drugs, it’s going to even do more harm I think.”

When William asked: “So there needs to be more of a social element to it?” she replied there should be more help, such as psychiatrists, so people could turn their lives around earlier.

The Duke added: “So prison doesn’t tackle the root cause of why someone is taking drugs?” and Ms Blackburn replied “No, it just punishes what you’ve done, not the reasons why.”

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