Vulnerable ex-addict robbed by dealer after revealing personal details at chemist

A vulnerable ex-addict, whose life spiraled out of control when his mum died, was robbed by a dealer after he had to reveal personal details in a busy chemist.

Rob (not his real name) had managed to get his life back on track with  a “new identity” and leave behind a world of petty theft and a £400 a month drug habit.

But picking up a prescription at a Barrow chemist meant the 20-year-old  had to give his address to staff as a former acquaintance stood in the queue and he later received a visit.

His youth outreach worker is shocked that after all the publicity surrounding GDPR and personal data that most chemists still follow a procedure of asking for personal details in such a public way.

He said all his hard work has gone out of the window and he will have to relocate him for his own safety.

The pair, who have to remain anonymous, want changes made to protect the vulnerable and the elderly from being targeted.

Rob explained: “My mam died suddenly when I was 17 in hospital. She was 43 and had been mixing Tramadol with alcohol. Afterwards I carried on living with her boyfriend, who was a drug dealer on and off. and eventually I was given a flat on Barrow Island and that’s when things started to go wrong. I started shoplifting and using drugs. and was in with the wrong people."

“The mam’s ex started following me and turning up where I live demanding money he said I owed him for rent. He would shout in the street and wouldn't leave me alone.”

Rob has borderline personality disorder, autistic and ADHD and was struggling after his mother’s death, the continual harassment and spiralled out of control.

He added: “By the time I got help I was spending £400 a month of cocaine and weed. With help I managed to give it all up and I moved to a new address and basically sorted my life out."

“Then I was in the chemist picking up a  prescription and when I was given it I had to confirm date of birth and address. As I left I saw the mam’s boyfriend’s new partner and I knew she had heard it all."

“I then had a knock at the door and a dealer was there offering me drugs. He asked if he could come in because it was raring and then stole money from my benefit money from my coat. I didn’t realise until he had gone."

Rob was left distressed and frightened and he is still struggling to go out and no longer feels safe in his new home.

The chemist have been approached and have agreed to mark his file that he must be not asked his address in the future. But, Rob worries he’s not the only one and it could be an elderly person picking up controlled drugs, such as painkillers that could be targeted unless protocol is changed, regarding addresses.

Rob’s youth worker explained: “For a long time I have not been happy with the fact you walk into a chemist to pick up a prescription and the person behind the counter shouts your name, not such a problem  but then you are asked to say your full address out loud, problem."

“Due to the fact we are receiving medication some of what may well be controlled drugs, there is an addict stood within earshot receiving their Methadone for serious addiction, it beggars belief."

“Not only do we have frail vulnerable old people living alone, we have the pharmacist telling the whole room where they live."

“In that pharmacy there may also be serious criminals including stalkers and paedophiles rubbing their hands from this information."

“I  recently reallocated Rob from a drugs ridden area and run down flat to a central safe location and basically gave him a new identity and home."

“He ‘never been happier, away from the drug dealers and for the first time felt safe in his new home, he was doing fantastic he did everything I asked such as not to give anyone his new address leave  Facebook and change his phone number. He fully embraced this."

“However they rang me extremely paranoid and nervous saying that while he was collecting his medication from the chemist, a drug dealer who he wanted to avoid was stood behind him in the queue when the pharmacist read out his name and address."

“I tried to calm him down and tell him not to panic and the chances are the dealer would not of heard."

"Later he text saying the dealer had turned up at his home, offered him drugs and asked if he could step inside as it was raining, while in the property he robbed his benefits and left."

"All the hard work I have achieved with this young person has gone out of the window. I now will have to move him and start all over again. Data protection  what a joke. Our community is being flooded with county lines and cuckooing anyone of us can be a victim of these dirty greedy parasites who prey on the vulnerable.”

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