St Albans clinic sending recovering alcoholic to a shelter “full of drinkers”

Stephen Paul and Stephen David Adams Jnr outside Albany Lodge. Picture: Danny Loo

Stephen Paul and Stephen David Adams Jnr outside Albany Lodge. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A St Albans clinic is dropping a recovering alcoholic into a shelter which his father says is “full of drinkers”.

Albany Lodge. Picture: Danny Loo

Albany Lodge. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Stephen David Adams, 28, is currently staying at Albany Lodge after attempting suicide in Hampstead Heath on Sunday, July 2.

Following treatment in London, he was transferred to Albany Lodge on Church Crescent, but managers now say Stephen must go to the Open Door shelter.

Stephen’s father, Stephen Paul Adams, a 56-year-old mechanic from London, said: “We visited Open Door yesterday and it’s full of drinkers and drug users.

“That is not right for someone coming out of alcohol addiction.

“We are worried he might try and commit suicide because he cannot get help.”

Stephen Paul has tried ringing Open Door numerous times to discuss his son’s situation, but to no avail.

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Eventually, he planted himself in their reception for three hours, but again could not speak to anyone.

Stephen Paul said: “He will have to be there at 7am to see if he can get a place to stay.

“Albany Lodge want to throw him out with nothing, and expect him to sit outside the shelter all day with the drinkers.”

Stephen David, a chef by trade, became an alcoholic after watching both his friend and his grandma die.

His grandma, Valerie, died in front of him due to a clot in her heart, after waiting four hours for an ambulance.

Stephen Paul said after this trauma, his son started drinking “to cover it all up”.

Herts Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, which manages Albany Lodge, refused to comment on individual service users.

But did say: “We make the decision whether someone is ready to be discharged on advice of the multi-disciplinary team, including a consultant psychiatrist.

“Before someone is discharged, we prepare a plan for supporting them in the community, and they are fully involved in preparing the plan.

“Some people will move on to alternative services, others are discharged home or to other community settings.

Hightown Housing Association, which manages Open Door, has given assurances recovering addicts are given counselling, and alcohol is banned on the premises.