A speech by The Duchess of Cambridge at the Action on Addiction Gala Dinner

Published 12 June 2019

What’s remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery – it also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction – for as long as it takes.

The Duchess of Cambridge

Action on Addiction was one of my very first patronages, and as such, it is very close to my heart.

I’m hugely passionate about the support it provides, especially for parents,children and families who suffer from, or through, addiction.

And in some ways, it was the catalyst for my interest in early childhood development too.

For the last few years, I’ve been focussing on the importance of prevention:how can we all really support the earliest years of life, build foundations, and help avoid adversity later on in life.

Having met so many people who’ve suffered from addiction, I have seen over and over again that, sadly, the root cause can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life.

Trauma experienced in early childhood, in some cases, as a result of separation, abandonment, abuse, or even emotional neglect, can have a lasting effect.

What we experience during our earliest years, even while we’re still in the womb, shapes the developing brain.

It is therefore vital that we support everyone who cares for children in those formative years, especially if we want to help with the inter-generational cycle of addiction.

Sadly, for many who are suffering with addiction, they just don’t receive the help they need early enough. They have already reached crisis point before they find the support they need.

What’s remarkable about Action on Addiction is that it goes beyond helping those who are suffering on the courageous journey into recovery – it also lends direct support to the children and families affected by addiction – for as long as it takes.

This evening’s dinner not only marks ‘Addiction Awareness Week’, but it also provides an opportunity for us all to remember the vital work being done to help all those affected by addiction feel able to access help, hope and freedom from their addiction.

There was never a more important time for Action on Addiction to succeed. And I, for one, could not be more delighted to support such a special organisation.

Graham, I look forward to working together, and, as your Patron, doing all I can, to help your important mission in the future.

Thank you.