Arlesey former drugs smuggler’s road to recovery

Sober-Services Press Articles

A FORMER drugs smuggler and addict turned turned life coach from Arlesey has published a book about his battle with addiction.

Ian Young’s drug and alcohol-fuelled exploits took him all over Europe before he found his salvation. His new book, It’s Not About Me, lifts the lid not only on Ian’s years of addiction, but also his recovery.

Ian, 41, said: “I’ve picked up many books where people tell their story but finish as they get to treatment – it’s not much of a message. When I set out to write this book, only 50 per cent was the story, the second half is about the lessons I have learned – how you can help yourself.”

Working as a DJ in a music scene inextricably linked with drug use, Ian left the UK in 1992 in “self-imposed exile” after a brush with the law over an illegal rave. Soon, he was using his trade as a cover for transporting drugs across the continent.

“The promoters knew they weren’t just booking a DJ, they were importing drugs,” Ian said. However, the authorities eventually caught up with him. “Ten buddies were arrested – it was just me that hadn’t been,” he added. “The police literally didn’t know where to find me.”

He resorted to stealing cars and taking them across the border in Germany and France to fund his heroin and cocaine habit, and was “drinking all the time”. He added: “I found myself in London without clients to buy from or sell to. I was shoplifting, trying to scrape together £10 for the next hit, whatever it took.

“When people ask me what was the turning point, the answer is there came a point where I no longer liked the person I had become.”

Despite his desire to turn his life around, he struggled to find a method that worked via the NHS. “None of them really were ever able to explain to me how I would overcome this,” he said. “I was in a real mess – it took three miserable years to get out of it.”

Ian later moved to Stotfold and then Arlesey, and married his wife Emma four years ago. He said: “I’ve been working with drug and alcohol addiction for 12 years and since 2008, operating a facility where we go out and work one-on-one with clients and take the treatment to them.” It’s Not About Me is published by Anoma Press.