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Mitch Winehouse Starts Campaign for Better Rehab Access

Amy's father wants to highlight lack of available rehab in the UK and help other addicts.

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By Ariel Nagi

07/27/11

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Amy Winehouse may willingly have said "no, no, no" to rehab, but some in the UK have no choice in the matter. According to the singer's father Mitch, some people have to wait up to two years to even get into a rehab. So he is starting a foundation and a campaign with the support of politician Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, to investigate access to rehab in the UK. "In this country, if you cannot afford a private rehabilitation clinic, there is a two-year waiting list for help. With the help of Keith Vaz MP, we are trying to change that," he said during Amy's funeral yesterday. He provided evidence to the Home Affairs committee two years ago on the cocaine trade, claiming that many drug users were so desperate for treatment that they committed crimes so they could get into rehab quickly. He said that addicts he interviewed in 2009 claimed they were forced to wait a year on average to receive treatment: "People are definitely committing offenses so they can have a chance, and it's only a chance, of receiving treatment." The Charity DrugScope disputed Winehouse's claim, however, citing the National Treatment Agency's statistic that 94% of patients receive some form of drug treatment within three weeks. During the service, Winehouse said his daughter had "conquered" her drug addiction and had been "trying hard to deal with her drinking."

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