Psychotherapist refutes claim in police documentary that Luton is ‘not the greatest place to be if you’re on drugs’

During the programme heroin addict Darren (pictured) is advised to avoid Luton
During the programme heroin addict Darren (pictured) is advised to avoid Luton

A police officer’s claim that Luton is “not the greatest place to be if you’re on drugs” has been rubbished by a leading addictions expert.

During Monday night’s episode of Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in Police Custody, which was filmed in Luton Police Station, Beds Police were shown investigating crimes committed to fund drug addictions.

Following an interview with a man who had stolen meat from Marks & Spencer in an attempt to pay for heroin, investigating officer Phil Stanton advised him against staying in the town, stating: “Luton is not the greatest place to be if you’re on drugs”.

This claim has been countered by psychotherapist and former drug addict Chris Simonite, who is based at the One40 rehab centre on Telford Way, Luton.

He told the Herald & Post: “I used drugs 14 years ago and got clean in Portugal, but I have maintained my recovery while living in Luton for ten years.

“From the prospective of recovery Luton is a great place to be.

“There are plenty of opportunities and support, whether that is privately or for free.

“There is the AA, two private rehab centres and a number of skilled people who can help; alot of towns are not as blessed in having as much for addicts looking for help.”

Mr Simonite added that the town also has a number of options for those with other addictions.

He said: “There seems to be every single type of fellowship, dealing with alcoholism up to gambling and sex addictions.

“My own opinion is that those really looking for recovery will be able to find it.”