West London Sees Surge in Use of Club Drugs and ‘Legal Highs’ – with Middle-Aged Users Most at Risk
Treatments for so-called ‘legal highs’ and club drugs continues to increase in London. Patients range in age from 16 – 62 years old.
The teenage reveller, which is the traditional stereotype for the users of such drugs, is no longer the profile of the current users. Instead, new reports, coming from hospitals in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea describe disturbing portrait of drug users, who is often unaware of the risks of occasional drug taking.
Since its opening in 2010, a steady increase in demand has been reported by The Club Drug Clinic, managed by Central and North West London NHS foundation Trust. 40% of the patients are students and clubbers, whereas 60% of users are older members of the LGBT community.
The average age of users coming for treatment is 30-35, while the clinic is now seeing up to 40 people each month. Doctors point out that drugs like ketamine, mephedrone, GBL and methamphetamine are rarely presenting immediate harm, but the effects of longer term use can be severe.
Demand for treatments has been growing so rapidly that a second clinic in Central London has opened doors – near to the capital’s busiest clubs and bars and where the cleaners in Westminster operate.