A woman whose son is a drug addict begging for food in the street is pleading with people not to assist his son with money or food.
The woman, from Cardiff, said while people intend to do good by donating to her son, ‘you are actually making it more likely that he will die from his drug use.’
If people genuinely want to help those less fortunate than themselves they should give to specialist charities instead, she said.
Speaking in an anonymous interview with Wales Online, she said her son first began using drugs without her knowledge aged 13 when he was given cannabis.
Now aged 22, she said he has moved on to synthetic highs like MKAT and Spice, prescription drugs such as sleeping pills, and heroin.
While she has tried to offer him help, she said he will not acknowledge the extent of his problems and often refuses to speak with her.
The only time she can get through to him is while he is at rock bottom – without food or drugs or shelter – but the moment his short-term problems are fixed he shuts down again.
She said: ‘My son is a drug addict. Addicts need their fixes by the hour and day. They cannot think long term. They cannot face reality.
‘When you give my son clothes you are keeping him warm for that day and the next.
‘When you give my son food you are feeding him for that day and the next.
‘When you give my son money you are feeding his habit for that day and the next.
‘While you are all kindly meeting his short term fixes you are actually enabling my son to continue using drugs.
‘You are keeping the heat in his body and fuel in his tummy. This makes him feel good which then means that he can then go and take his drugs. Drug addicts have to hit rock bottom.’
There were more than 600 people believed to be sleeping rough in Wales according to government figures published back in February.
A separate report published in July showed a further 2,652 households were assessed as being homeless, with just over 1,000 of those given temporary housing.
Another 1,899 households were assessed as threatened with homelessness, with more than half given help to delay it by at least six months.
The problem of rough sleepers was most acute in Cardiff, where an estimated 313 were living on the streets, but only 168 spare beds were available.