Sunday March 26 , 2017

Posts Tagged ‘london drug 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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