The City has always been a stressful place. From banking to the hustle and bustle of the hospitality scene. It’s a 24-hour city in which its residents and workers have to cope with that.
It’s not an easy life, and while many see London as the great hope for a career, and in many cases it is, many struggle with the day-to-day, turning to drugs and alcohol in order to cope.
And it’s not just that, London’s addiction problem, particularly in the workforce, has long been a real problem, but why does the city struggle so much compared to others around the country?
Visit any drug and alcohol rehab in Surrey or Essex and you’ll find dozens of people from the capital having checked in, seeking treatment for their addiction. But what are the main causes of these problems that are clearly more specific to those living in London?
The fast paced nature of the city
The fast paced nature of the city alone can be rather daunting. Step outside of your home and you’re immediately moving at a million miles per hour, ushered into tube stations and weaving in and out of others to get from A to B. It can be exhausting.
That brings on stress before you even walk into the workplace or tackle the day-to-day challenges of life. And if there’s one leading contributor when it comes to addiction, it’s stress.
The stress of the workplace
It’s perhaps only natural that jobs in London are typically more stressful. It’s where many major firms are headquartered, while the footfall in shops and restaurants is also much larger. Everybody wants things quicker. And that can take its toll.
The hospitality industry especially suffers. A total of 40% of people working in hospitality have seen others taking drugs in the workplace, with 97% of people believing it’s a huge problem in that industry.
But it isn’t just limited to hospitality, it affects a wealth of industries, with cocaine a parrticular problem in white collar companies.
Peer pressure and access to substances
Post-work pub culture is still huge in London, and unlike anywhere else in the UK. Come rain or shine, the pavements are lined with revellers each and every day.
There’s almost a pressure in the city saying, “that’s what you do”, but even one pint of beer every day after work can prove incredibly problematic. What’s more, one can often turn into two, three, four and then other substances can enter the fray too, with access so available in the city.
Despite it being a city with millions of people, times are tough. Not only is there a cost-of-living crisis, where activities in the city are costly, many people can feel cut off from their friends and family.
People often move from elsewhere to work in London, and that social isolation can lead people towards drink and drugs in order to cope. That can send people into very dark places, where help is very much needed.
There’s no quick fix for London’s addiction problem, it’s going to take a long time, but while the pressures of life are where there are, more needs to be done by those in the city, whether that be businesses or the government in order to tackle it.