Sunday May 28 , 2017

Category: Drug Rehabilitation News

City firms told to warn employees about risk of drug and alcohol addiction

City firms should do more to warn their employees about the risk of drug and alcohol addiction, an official report has claimed.

by MARK BLUNDEN

city drug problemAn investigation by City of London Corporation found that while treatment and support were available, not enough was being done to prevent addiction taking hold.

Square Mile addiction specialist Richard Kingdon said some City workers could take up to three grammes of cocaine a day, often to keep them going after heavy nights out.

Mr Kingdon, of City Beacon, added that last month was particularly busy for counsellors as staff who stopped drinking for January went “back on it”. Today he urged financial, insurance and legal firms to discuss the dangers of addiction more openly with their staff, saying: “Speaking about drugs in the City is still taboo.”

The corporation’s review of drug and alcohol services, due to be presented tomorrow, states: “Within the City worker population, there is a particular risk-taking culture that may contribute to the development of health issues and addictions.

“This has the potential to impact on both City workers and their employers. There is also potential to research the role of City employers as ‘enablers’.”

The review found that combined use of cocaine and alcohol could contribute to violent crime in the Square Mile.

 

The drugs don’t work, they just make you worse

drugsThe highly-publicised case of Paul Flowers, the disgraced former chairman of the Co-op Bank, filmed allegedly buying drugs, has put the spotlight on the use and misuse of drugs and alcohol by senior employees. What role does human resources play in developing and enforcing drug and alcohol policies in City firms? Is the culture of drug use in certain segments of the financial services sector in the City widespread, or is it just a case of negative media publicity?

As the song goes, “the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse”. The reality however is that the message of the song has yet to sink into UK society, where the level of alcohol and drug use is frightening: 26 percent of men and 18 percent of women drank more than the recommended 21 units in an average week, according to the NHS Information Centre in England in 2009. Around one-third of adults have taken an illicit drug in their lifetime, according to the 2012 to 2013 Crime Survey for England and Wales.

 

Traders Seek Help

In a recent news report that appeared in The Sun, City Beacon comment upon a 20% increase in city traders who have requested counselling services this year. Managing director Richard Kingdon said many were turning to drugs and alcohol as an “anaesthetic”. He told The Sun: “It’s allowing them to bury their heads deeper and deeper into the sand.”

He claimed bankers felt hated by the public and were being put under increasing pressure by their own bosses. He said: “Banks and financial institutions are using lower profit forecasts to cut staff bonuses, salaries and jobs.

“Denial is the name of the game in the City. No one — and no company — wants to admit there’s a serious addiction problem.”

 

City Beacon featured in the Guardian

Richard Kingdon director of City Beacon

A working life: the addiction counsellor

(This report was written by and taken from www.guardian.co.uk)

Addiction counsellor Richard Kingdon works with City clients in a world where it’s acceptable to drink heavily or take drugs – but not to seek professional help

You don’t have to be a drug addict or an alcoholic to be an addiction counsellor, but it certainly helps.

“If you were an addict desperate for help, would you want to turn to someone who has learned it all from books?” asks Richard Kingdon, managing director of City Beacon, an addiction counselling service based in the City of London.

Kingdon has plenty of experience of addiction. He started taking drugs – “anything but heroin, I never injected” – at the age of 12, was homeless and living on the streets of Soho by 16, and says he has done “everything” to fund his addiction. Then, at the age of 26, he had a breakdown, or “breakthrough” as he prefers to term it, and ended up in a psychiatric unit suffering psychosis.

 

Cocktails and cocaine clubs are becoming commonplace in the Square Mile

cocaine abuse At 1pm the swanky bars and restaurants of the City heave with men in immaculate pin-striped suits and women in sharp pencil skirts. It’s feeding time in the heart of London’s Square Mile, when the masters of the universe (or, if you are so minded, the architects of the world’s economic demise) gather to network and refuel. But the frantic pace of the City cannot run on carbohydrates alone; which is why, at some of these establishments, it is as easy to order a gram of cocaine as it is a mozzarella panini – all claimable on company expenses.

In March, a bar manager who ran a members-only ‘cocktail and cocaine club’ for City workers was jailed for three-and-a-half years. Anthony Alexander, 47, sold the Class A drug alongside cocktails in Bar Nine on Christopher Street near Broadgate. When police swooped following a two-month operation, they found £7,500 of cocaine in wraps ready to be handed out with the drinks orders. Undercover officers said the majority of members were professional City people buzzed in via a video entryphone.

At the time, City of London police described the case as ‘remarkable’ and ‘unusual’. However, recovering City drug addicts disagree. Tony, a 39-year-old broker who was addicted to cocaine for 15 years until 18 months ago, spoke of an organised criminal underworld with young drug runners on mopeds dropping off cocaine to City bars. He added: ‘Some bars in the area of Leadenhall Market are a front for coke dealing. A lot of them are owned by some seriously naughty fellows. In every single office there is a group of people doing the stuff. Wherever there is a lot of money there is a lot of coke. In the City there are so many ups and downs and coke feeds that. We can buy it anywhere.’

 

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