A DRUG dealer who turned his life around following life-saving treatment in Boscombe is now helping other addicts conquer their addictions.

Mark Dempster has been clean for 16 years and runs a Harley Street counselling practice. His incredible journey has been chronicled in his new book: Nothing to Declare: Confessions of an Unsuccessful Drug Smuggler, Dealer and Addict.

The son of an alcoholic father, Mark ended up sleeping on a park bench, punctured by needle marks and perilously close to death.

His book charts his journey from Scotland to London, through the Himalayas, in and out of prisons with stops in Spain, Amsterdam and Goa. His shambolic life spiralled out of control until, as a homeless drug addict, he finally asked for help and, with the support of his mother, conquered his habits.

In his book Mark says: “The rehab was in Bournemouth.

“It was a good idea to move out of London so I could be away from my old playgrounds.

“Most of the day was spent in group sessions and with our drug counsellor. The problem we had was denial.”

After successfully completing the programme, Mark went to Bournemouth and Poole College where he qualified to become a counsellor.

“After I qualified I realised that there was nothing left in Bournemouth – aside from the recovery meetings – that was keeping me there.

“The last thing I did before I said goodbye was hand in my benefits book. I could now be self-sufficient.”

Reflecting on his battle with the demon drink and drugs, he says: “Some of the people I have been in recovery with have relapsed.

“More of them have ended up missing or dead. I know that it doesn’t have to be that way.

“I never have to use drugs again.

“I have worked with street homeless and millionaires alike, helping them get clean and change their lives.

“I can only keep what I have by giving it away.”

Nothing to Declare: Confessions of an Unsuccessful Drug Smuggler, Dealer and Addict is available for £9.99 from Amazon UK or by visiting nothingtodeclarebook.com