A working life: the addiction counsellor
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.