Elizabeth Burton-Phillips' book Mum Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid? about her twin sons' addictions and the effect it had on her family has been translated into several languages. GP Dr Stephen Willott says about the book:

“I remember reading this terrific and powerful memoir some years ago and was delighted to see a new edition, telling a story of hope through tragedy that could happen to any family.

From a GP perspective, it is a valuable reminder of recognising the signs of someone’s addiction and the importance of asking for help earlier rather than later – both for the family and the person using drugs problematically - such as discussing concerns with a GP (even if not a specialist in addiction, GPs are likely to be equipped to help or at least point in the right direction)”.

Nicholas sadly died as a result of his addiction. His twin, Simon, survived and is in long-term recovery. Elizabeth Burton-Phillips says:

‘Addiction is not a spectator sport'...

Simon and I were recently invited to speak in Sweden at a large conference for clinicians and doctors working with people who are addicted to opioids, where we presented on the impact of addiction on the family. This was the first time that my surviving son and I had spoken together about the loss of our son and brother, Simon spoke about his own recovery from addiction and the impact on mothers and fathers. We received extremely positive feedback for our presentation entitled Addiction is not a spectator sport - eventually the whole family gets to play.

A theatre production and workshop featuring professional actors and based on the book has received excellent reviews. Audiences have the opportunity to watch the one-hour play and take part in a forum theatre workshop created to meet the needs of different audience groups - families, young people, people who are in treatment/recovery and professionals. 

More information about the play on the DrugFam website or write to Sophie Tickle on [email protected]