According to a recent Home Office report, football drug arrests are increasing in volume, sparking debate as to recommended courses of action.
The report, commissioned to measure the annual movement of football-related misdemeanours, states that 127 matches confirmed drug-related arrests during the 2018/19 season.
The study says that 83% of those cases involved the use or possession of cocaine, illustrating a growing drug problem on terraces around the country.
Police forces in England and Wales must report all football-related arrests to the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit (UKFPU), an organisation that implements and monitors the policing of domestic matches.
Why are people arrested at football matches?
As demonstrated by the report, people are arrested at football games for a wide array of offences, ranging from pitch incursion and throwing missiles to public intoxication and violent disorder. However, the possession of a controlled substance, predominantly cocaine, is of increasing ubiquity in football-related disorder.
Here at Rehab Clinics Group, we are keen to investigate this developing trend and earmark possible solutions, helping football fans avoid years in prison by providing education, inspiration and long-term support tailored to their needs.
By nature, football is a very communal activity. The stadium remains one of the few gathering places for people from various strata’s of society, meshing together in enjoyment of a common hobby.
Accordingly, if football is a fitting metaphor for society, the terraces are subjected to the same vagaries as any strand of life. Drug use, misuse and subsequent addiction is one such problem, and the football terrace is a fitting microcosm of a problem permeating wider society at large.
The link between football hooliganism and drug arrests
The grim nadir of British football violence occurred in the 1970s and 1980s as a disaffected working-class used sport as a tool of rebellion. Deeply entwined with cultural upheaval, expressed particularly through music and fashion, football hooliganism has typically encompassed and even glorified the more illicit aspects of life in alienated towns and cities across the nation.
The current proliferation of Class-A substances at football matches, and indeed the number of football-related arrestees who have tested positive for drugs, may speak to a growing dissatisfaction with the community context in which the sport exists.
The classic connotations of football disorder, namely pre-arranged fights between large groups of hooligans, have been effectively quelled compared to the aforementioned era. The advent of CCTV, coupled with other emerging technologies and the creation of units such as UKFPU, has given rise to more nuanced forms of disorder at football matches. Drug dealing, usage and associated illegality is particularly prominent among the present supporter base, posing a serious problem that must be addressed.
Here at Rehab Clinics Group, we have researched the topic of football-related drug charges extensively, seeking to apply our vision of helping individuals, communities and families achieve freedom from addiction.
With mass appeal across a broad range of demographics, football offers a valuable portal into the lives of many different people. Inspiring passion, loyalty and emotion from every pocket of society, football is therefore a powerful vehicle through which to access the topic of substance abuse and dependency.
How to recover from drug-related football arrests
We do not prejudge anybody who confides in us to provide assistance in their journey towards recovery. We understand the stigma that surrounds football-related arrests, and we are aware of the historical texture of football hooliganism in Britain and beyond.
Nevertheless, we work hard to treat people with kindness, privacy, dignity and respect. Just as people are not defined by their addictions, nor are they described solely by their misdemeanours at a football match. Of course, illegality remains exactly that, a transgression to be rectified, but we believe strongly in a holistic approach to recovery that provides context to each person’s unique situation.
We understand that contacting a rehabilitation centre is often difficult, cloaked in negativity and misconception. Our experienced Admissions Team understands this, and their lived experience provides a poignant perspective from which to begin your journey. We are available around the clock, responding to enquiries and devising action plans that take a human approach rather than relying on inflexible textbooks.
Does football have a problem with cocaine?
The most recent report into football-related arrests is significant because it pinpoints cocaine as a major constituent of violence in and around stadiums. We are especially keen to delve deeper into this phenomenon, attempting to understand its causes while offering resolutions that endure.
Police say that, over the last two seasons, disorder inside our football stadiums has risen by 45%. Meanwhile, the number of football drug arrests rose by 1.2% across the same time period, suggesting that drugs, and chiefly cocaine, are fuelling a concerning renaissance in violence and disorder at football matches. While those figures are alarming, there is still time to reverse the trend and eradicate the drug dealer from our terraces.
How to get help for cocaine addiction
We have a collection of cocaine clinic groups across the UK and Spain dedicated to beating this addiction. Our approach includes full clinical assessments, therapy programmes and psychiatric examinations, seeking to find the source of each individual case of drug addiction and interrupt that cycle with something healthier and more positive.
Our cocaine rehab team encompasses experienced professionals who specialise in addiction and recovery. We are able to tailor treatment plans to match any budget, need and depth, finding a solution that works best for each individual.
Just as no two football teams are the same, we understand that addiction cannot be forced through one catch-all prism. It is different for everybody, and we embrace that thought rather than shying away from it.
Through education, analysis and change, anybody can recover from even the worst addictions. Football drug arrests may be overlooked by the mainstream, ever stretched and under-resourced, so the option of private rehabilitation is one that may lead to the most effective improvement for all parties concerned.
Our commitment to this area will not relent. We will continue to invest time, money and energy in deciphering the root causes – political, cultural, biological, psychological, economic and societal – of football drug arrests.
But more than that, we will take care of the person behind the numbers, getting to know their story rather than dismissing their illegal act.