Home Business Insights & Advice The capital’s problem: White-collar addiction

The capital’s problem: White-collar addiction

by John Saunders
14th Sep 22 2:08 pm

The city of London is a place that never sleeps. It’s active 24/7, from the high-flying businesses in the city to the bright lights and heavy nights of Camden, to the early starts of the many markets in and around the city.

Of course, such a lifestyle can lead to heavy stress, with the UK capital among the most stressful cities in the world according to studies. With that comes an unhealthy mental state for many, and the knock on effect of that can be turning to drink, drugs or other substances in order to cope.

So, it’s perhaps no surprise to see that London is now the cocaine capital of Europe.

London, and the UK as a whole, has a real problem with cocaine abuse at present, and it’s becoming more and more prominent in wider society, with regular raids across the capital, as well as high profile incidents such as the drug-fuelled Euro 2020 Final at Wembley and instances of substance abuse in parliament.

That has all contributed to London now being the cocaine capital of Europe, with the market estimated to be worth a staggering £1billion in the city alone.

It’s believed that Londoners are consuming more than half a million doses of the substance each and every day, with an estimated street value of almost £3million, that’s significantly more than the likes of Barcelona and Amsterdam.

In the Spanish city, it’s believed that people in the city consume around 12.74kg per day, while in the Dutch capital, alongside Berlin, that figure is just 4.62kg on a daily basis. In London, that figure is 23kg per day.

Scientists at King’s College London pulled together the research, with there being a stark contrast being that while in other European cities mentioned, it appears to be for more recreational use, with spikes at the weekend, whereas in London cocaine is an ‘everyday drug’, that only sees a slight rise of usage at weekends.

The figures have increased significantly over the last 10 years, with it doubling between 2011 and 2015. That has since come down slightly, but the problem still exists, particularly within white collar industries.

Many clinics around the country have seen a huge increase in white collar drug and alcohol related dependencies with one in 10 people now being treated having senior roles at organisations.

Which poses big problems for businesses too. While it’s not necessarily in their remit to tackle drug abuse. In the workplace, it does become their problem and there is a duty to look after the welfare of staff.

Figures show that drug abuse costs the UK around £15billion per year, and that 60% of all poor job performances are linked to substance abuse. With such high volumes, support is needed.

For as long as the stress of the city continues, those figures are only going to see London and the UK continue to struggle with cocaine abuse, particularly in white collar operations. Toughening measures in the workplace will of course aid this, but support networks and initiatives are undoubtedly going to be the most efficient way forward and tackle what is turning into a real crisis for the city.

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