Sixth Form students were given a Drugs Awareness talk from Chip Somers. Chip is a former drug addict who attended rehab for his addiction, and subsequently became an addiction counsellor working at drug treatment centres. Chip later opened his own clinic Focus12 which has worked with over 850 clients. Patrons of the charity are Russell Brand, Davina McCall and Boy George who have also recovered from addiction. Chip is now a leading voice in the campaign for abstinence-based treatment and alongside Russell Brand, gave evidence to the Home Office Select Committee Inquiry into drug policy.
'I found the talk from Chip Somers very influential in a unique way. He did not try and force any idea upon us; he simply and clearly outlined what had happened to him when he became addicted to drugs. I found his story extremely shocking and very powerful, as he so calmly explained the harrowing things that had happened to him. This was much more effective than any talk I had had before about drugs as it exposed the reality of life - how it can change in a moment from one extreme to the other, as a result of bad decision-making. I found it very thought-provoking and moving, as Chip defied the odds to turn his life around. Chip has advised government on drugs policy and on the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts; this aspect of the talk also invited us to consider the wider impact of drug use on society.'
Ed Rick (Lower Sixth, Harcourt)