Who we are
We live in a world where more and more people are turning to drugs. For enjoyment, for escape or just to block out the misery of day-to-day life; drugs are everywhere. East London is no different - its Bengali community suffers like any other.
Community Against Drugs (CAD) is a non-profit organisation supporting Bangladeshi locals dealing with all aspects of drug use and abuse in Tower Hamlets and wider east London.
Drug related problems do not start and finish with the drug-user. Like a stone thrown into a pond, drugs have a rippling effect - on those close to the user and then outward to the wider community through increased criminality.
This is a community already fighting against the odds. Before an illegal substance has been inhaled, swallowed or injected high poverty levels, low educational attainment, housing problems and social segregation all put pressures on those in this corner of the capital. While these factors make Bengalis highly vulnerable to narcotics, drugs can only worsen these life-limiting influences.
There are hundreds of different psycho-active substances wreaking havoc in British society - at all levels: from street drugs for teenagers to the recreational drugs of society's professional classes. At CAD we believe we need a new approach. Help for addicts. Assistance for casual users. A call for effective legislation.
This fresh debate is urgently required. Legalisation, decriminalisation, prison reform, rehabilitation, medical treatment, holistic programmes, family support and intervention advice: every aspect of drug use, prevention and healthcare is examined and discussed by CAD.
Ours is a platform to discuss these issues with an open mind. And open ears. We are not here to preach - we are here to listen. To hear about problems as well as solutions. While countries such as the USA, Portugal and Canada implement progressive drugs legislation, more and more UK families are drawn into the nightmare that comes with a family member gripped by addiction. CAD is here to support locals dealing with the anxieties and frustrations of a drug-afflicted family or the fears and confusion of an at-risk user.
The sense of hopelessness that comes with a life of addiction can leave those affected feeling abandoned. With a sense that nobody within reach is going through the all-encompassing trauma that drug use can bring. It is not the user alone who is affected by narcotics misuse. Parents, partners, children, friends and work colleagues can all suffer. With CAD, those in east London don't have to live through this alone.
From lobbying councils for the promotion of drug free environments to campaigning for greater, local information on prevention, CAD campaigns to look at drugs through a different local lens.
We are here to help.
Making A Difference
Mohammed Abdus Sukur
The driving force behind CAD is Sabina Khan. Raised in Tower Hamlets, Sabina was inspired to give something back to her community having seen the turmoil drugs have brought to the lives of family, friends and neighbours.
With many years working in the manufacturing industries, Sabina has decades of project management experience. She also has a law degree. These steely leadership qualities are complemented by the soft skills and empathy that come with parenting two daughters. As a local mother, she knows all too well the worries a parent has for their child in the big city.
Sabina has many years of experience assisting those in need. She has been a local councillor. Her current work with community groups through the Citizens' Advice Bureau brings Sabina into contact with many Londoners seeking a wide range of advice and support. This work coupled with her involvement in safer neighbourhood teams motivated her to get involved in drugs awareness issues in east London.
During her work delivering apprenticeships Sabina was continually saddened that she was unable to help as many young people into employment as she could because of drug-related addiction and criminality. She has first hand experience of the devastation felt by many of the drug-affected families as well as the drug-users themselves - that sense of never-ending hopelessness felt by many parents and carers.
Sabina's goal is the eradication of the scourge of drugs that is increasingly prevalent within her community. Lives are being destroyed.
MOHAMMED ABDUS SUKUR
Sabina is invaluably assisted by Mohammed Abdus Sukur. Also local to Tower Hamlets, Mohammed has immediate experience of the negative consequences of drug use - right on his doorstep. Cannabis use and dealing takes place outside his front door. Fume-filled corridors and drug trading stairwells are part of Mohammed's day-to-day existence.
Dealing with this problem has drawn him into a world of councillor meetings, community elder liaison and youth programme encouragement. Having watched his neighbourhood go downhill while witnessing a generation being lost to drugs, now is the time for Mohammed to take things further. With Sabina, they went into action and
Community Against Drugs was born.
NEWS & EVENTS
TV Coverage of recent event held by Community Against Drugs.
At the event, a robust and informative discussion took place with key stakeholders and local residents including many women and children directly affected by the scourge of drugs.
At CAD we have a programme of ongoing events in the local community. From cross-agency meetings to one-on-one advice clinics to fundraiser gatherings, we get together regularly to exchange ideas and offer support.
Please check here for details of our upcoming events or join the mailing list to receive updates. We do not exchange your personal information with any third parties.