Television


About RTÉ Television
High SocietyRTE One, Thursday, 10.15pm

About The Show

If you have been affected by the issues on this show you can find out more by visiting www.na.ireland.org or calling 01-6728000

Ireland is now the wealthiest it's ever been. We have the lowest unemployment in the history of the country and at the same time our cocaine use has climbed to among the highest in Europe. The most marked rise in cocaine use in this country over the last decade is not among the working classes, but rather among white collar professionals.

Presented by Justine Delaney Wilson, and based on her book of the same name, the documentary gives an insight unto middle class cocaine use in Ireland through the reconstructed personal testimonies of users and former addicts such a school teacher, a chef, a nurse, an accountant and a trainee doctor, all of whom have disguised their addiction behind their responsible and law abiding lifestyles.

Programme one explores the world of middle class cocaine abuse: who is doing it, how they got started, and through the reconstructed testimonies we hear how for some people it developed from a weekend dalliance to a full time addiction. 

The documentary also includes contributions from some of leading experts in this area: Dr Hugh Garavan discusses the physical effects of cocaine abuse at initial stages of use and addiction; Stephen Rowen, the director of The Rutland Centre, talks about the people who are attracted to cocaine and why: Colin O'Driscoll , a drug addiction counselor discusses how middle class cocaine abusers differ from other drug abusers and how their addiction starts to affect family, work and friend relationships.

Programme two takes us further into the world of middle class cocaine abuse and through the reconstructed testimonies we learn what happens when people become addicted, the affects of this habit on the individual themselves and on their relationships, and how much money it takes to feed the habit. 

The documentary also looks at cocaine abuse in terms of society at large, what is the connection between middle class cocaine abuse and gangland gun and drug crime?  And what are the wider repercussions for the society in which we live - have we reached the tipping point where a recreational 'kick' is becoming a national addiction? 

Justine Delaney Wilson