There is a serious drug problem among a significant minority of gay and bisexual men in the UK which, for some, is having devastating consequences. In the face of not much being done about it, a small team of staff and volunteers in a scandalously underfunded London charity called Antidote, the UK’s only LGBT-specific drug and alcohol service, based at London Friend, are at the coalface of the problem. At their helm is a deceptively small woman called Toni Hogg, who comes as close to being a Mother Teresa type figure (she’ll laugh at that) of the gay scene than anyone we can think of. We’re proud to award Toni one of our inaugural Attitude Pride Awards in tonight’s ceremony, in association with Delta Air Lines. Watch Toni tell her story in her own words below:
Offering drop ins, 1 to 1 counselling, group counselling and now weekend mini rehab sessions, all for free, in this time of muddled HIV messages, apps and bareback porn, Antidote have an increasingly hard job but Toni believes it is the tip of the iceberg. “People come to us when things have started really falling apart,” she says. “For a lot of people drug use has been normalised. They think everyone is doing it. It’s not actually until the impact starts ruining relationships, jobs and homes are at risk, that we see people coming through the door saying they need some help.”
You can read more about Toni and the rest of our wonderful Attitude Pride Award winners in the new issue of Attitude, in shops now. You can download the mag from Pocketmags.com/Attitude or order a copy from newsstand.co.uk/Attitude.