Introducing the new Big Issue agony uncle Mark Dempster…

Mark Dempster is a Harley Street addiction therapist, has a radio show with Russell Brand – and now he is The Big Issue's brand new agony uncle

Harley Street addiction therapist and counsellor Mark Dempster knows better than most the power of The Big Issue to help people on the road to recovery from addiction.

A former drug addict and dealer, and having served time in prison, Mark was a Big Issue vendor from 1993 to 1996, before he trained as a counsellor and launched his successful Harley Street practice. He and Russell Brand – cover star of this week’s new Big Issue, who spent time talking through the gamut of addiction issues with a group of the magazine’s vendors for our cover feature – co-present a radio show, We are Recovery Radio, on Zone One station.

And now Mark is teaming up with The Big Issue to offer advice to readers with issues of addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, the internet and more. His first column is online here and you can send questions to Mark in confidence at (let us know if you would like anonymity), with his advice appearing right here on our site. You can also get in touch directly via the contact for below…


If you pay for the magazine you should always take it. Vendors are working for a hand up, not a handout.

Find out more about Mark’s work here.

And for first steps towards getting advice, here are a few sources of helpful information:

Drugs & alcohol: Addaction

Drugs advice: Talk to Frank

Alcohol: Drinkaware

Drinkline free helpline: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm)

Smoking: Smokefree NHS

Gambling: Gamcare

Gamcare free helpline: 0808 8020 133 (8am-midnight, seven days)

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