Bryan Michigan, 36, CEO of Narcotica, the nationwide network of drug rehabilitation and advisory centres, celebrated the first anniversary of his leadership by announcing plans to open 26 new branches across the UK over the next few months. Formerly known as St Maximilian's Sunlight Project, Michigan bought out former manager Beryl Woolgar, 68, last year in a move described by the BBC's Robert Peston as "as surprising as it was unnecessarily bloodthirsty."
"Back in the bad old days," said Michigan, "the Project had only a single drop-in centre in Droitwich, run by aging volunteers with nothing better to do than talk to local alcoholics and drug addicts. The sole income stream was a market stall selling donated items, supplemented by an occasional bake sale. Now we've strongly established revenue sources in every town in the UK."
Michigan ascribes Narcotica's success to an overhaul of on-site facilities, such as the installation of fixed-odds betting machines and bars serving subsidized alcohol, a modernization programme which coincided with a wave of new drugs hitting Britain 12 months ago.
"These impressive new substances have led to a positive upturn in addictions," said Miranda Starsmore, 23, a recent graduate of the University of High Wycombe and branch manager of Narcotica's Middlesborough outlet. "The drugs include Glazafil, a stimulant hidden inside the holes of doughnuts; Whitewash, a dope originating in Australia made from crushed flowers; and a deadly new opiod known as Kktntkjjk, which has killed 10 people this year just by trying to pronounce it."
Michigan confirmed two of the new branches, in Tower Hamlets in London, will be sited either side of the existing Tower Hamlets branch, due to customer demand.
"All three branches will be encourage to compete for business," stated Michigan. "Customers can be young or old, rich or poor, black or white. I really couldn't care less. We want everyone to aim high, if not higher."