UKH

Trainspotting - for real

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In a nod to the modern classic movie of destructive drug use in Scotland,  it seems that the author's film was a little more prophetic than he would have hoped given the reports today.

Tom in Edinburgh aside, who doubtless will blame England, why is Scotland so blighted by drugs to be branded the worst nation in Europe for deaths?

Post edited at 18:12
2
 profitofdoom 30 Jul 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> ......why is Scotland so blighted by drugs to be branded the worst nation in Europe for deaths?

The BBC had an article on this last December:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-48853004

 scratcher 30 Jul 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

They have a huge problem in Scotland with fake heroine

5
In reply to profitofdoom:

> The BBC had an article on this last December:

That's quite a shocking report. As someone pretty familiar with the drug scene from a youth spent raving, theres loads of stuff I haven't heard of.

More weirdly, I now know why the Scandinavians always come tops as the happiest people on the planet...

1
 Tom Valentine 30 Jul 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

"For real" made me think we'd be talking about Black Fives and 9F's........

1
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

>... why is Scotland so blighted by drugs to be branded the worst nation in Europe for deaths?

I remember reading about naloxone. It's a spray that can be squirted up someone's nose if they are OD'ing. It cancels out the effects of heroin. They are, or were, giving it away to junkies, so that if their friends are OD'ing they can prevent it. The junkies are not too keen on it, as it blocks all heroin for days. So they go into instant withdrawal.

I cant believe that with all the death, petty crime and organised crime, that they are still not giving away free shots of morphine, in a controlled environment. Treat addiction like a disease, provide a treatment and manage it in a sensible way. The benefits to society and the cost savings would be colossal.

3
 Wingnut 30 Jul 2021
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Black fives matter ......

1
 Forest Dump 30 Jul 2021
In reply to dread-i:

Its the cheap black market benzos pushing people over. They're ubiquitous and add risk to whatever else people have taken 

1
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

A key reason: more deprivation due to oppressive policies from UK (England) governments. Higher poverty levels, housing schemes and ghettoisation.

Another reason: a culture of enjoying yourself through drink and drugs (high alcohol consumption), in part due to point above. 

Another reason: it becomes almost acceptable to dabble in hard core drugs  in some communities and a good way to earn money through dealing.

Currently: street Valium is a mega problem  

BTW, I once worked in youth work/drug/alcohol projects in Glasgow but my knowledge is way out of date now. An ex colleague and bezzie mate works there and he says street Valium is causing shit loads of problems. 

Post edited at 21:36
1
In reply to dread-i:

I believe heroine is now sometimes prescribed instead of methadone. 

In reply to Bottom Clinger:

Just to add: there’s been a culture of abusing temazepam and Valium etc that goes way back, jellies being huge back in the 90s and onwards, often mixed with booze (Buckie esp). People, especially skint mums, would get these tablets for made up illnesses (Dr, I can’t sleep due to x,y and z) get a jelly or Valium script and then sell them for whatever including food. 
 

A mate was a full on intravenous drug addict    and when the HIV/AIDS crisis kicked off the police etc had a mega clamp down on heroin (needle sharing = HIV) so he and others started jagging temgesics.  They quickly  realised that many over the counter drugs, took in large quantities and injected, had a similar effect to heroine etc. So a culture of over the counter drugs really kicked in (it had always been there, but to a lesser degree). 

Post edited at 21:49
 RobAJones 30 Jul 2021
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Just to add: there’s been a culture of abusing temazepam and Valium etc that goes way back, jellies being huge back in the 90s

Still remember clearly, from that time, the parent of one of my year 11's being pulled over in Blackpool with a car full of tampazepam. In court their defence was it for personal use. That they had more than enough for the next  twenty years didn't help their case. 

 Stichtplate 30 Jul 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Lots of small town rural communities, lots of fairly shit weather, two fairly big urban conurbations that attract the youth.  A fairly natural nexus of factors that leads to The Youth getting sucked into a destructive hedonistic lifestyle.

For some it’ll lead to long term problems. For most it’ll be a temporary blip on the road to pastures new.

 RBonney 31 Jul 2021
In reply to profitofdoom:

I swear I've heard Portugal had the worst death rate in Europe until they decriminalised drugs and now look at them. Way down on that table near the bottom. This shows its a problem that's possible to fix. 

1
In reply to dread-i:

> I cant believe that with all the death, petty crime and organised crime, that they are still not giving away free shots of morphine, in a controlled environment. 

The Scottish Government wanted to trial controlled dispensing as has been successful in Portugal.  Drugs policy is a reserved matter and the Tories refused permission.

What is actually happening is the Tories are making political capital from a problem while preventing Scotland from adopting any new policies to solve it.

AFAIK the drugs statistics are compiled with a broader definition in Scotland and the league tables are highly questionable because every country is counting slightly differently e.g. if someone dies of a health issue which was made worse by drug abuse does that count as a drug death.  If you count deaths where drugs played a part you get a much higher number of deaths than if you are only counting overdoses.

11
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Interesting... Ultimately though; what a shitty, depressing, 'society' we seem to have created for ourselves? 

 VictorM 31 Jul 2021
In reply to RBonney:

For something different but comparable, look at Iceland. A few years ago they had one of the highest rates of (underage) binge drinking in Europe. Lots of darkness, shit weather, isolation, et cetera. 

The thing that really helped was to set up extensive after school recreation. Sports, activities, whatever. Anything to fight the boredom. 

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

There has always been a question around  ‘how do we count drug deaths’. But Scotland has nearly double the proportion of high risk drug users, and many of these people are using even higher risk drugs (mixing street Valium with heroin and methadone etc).  So I would expect Scotland to have at least double the % of drug related deaths than say England.  Interesting to note how older age drug users have a very high death rate when using street Valium.  


Screenshot from ONS


In reply to VictorM:

I worked in Ruchill in Glasgow for five years. At the time it had the highest heroin addiction rate in Europe (neighbouring Possil did, which included Ruchill in the data iirc, but it was known that Ruchill edged it). We did massive diversionary activities with a group of boys and out of 12, 12 became addicted to heroin. Most of them got clean in their 20s. For a large % of your hard core users, the external factors and lack of support networks are very difficult to overcome and no amount of diversionary activities will stop them. However, we reckoned that when they wanted to get clean they would recall our work with them and this would most likely help. So it is still important to do diversionary, drug intervention activities. 

 climber david 31 Jul 2021
In reply to dread-i:

> I remember reading about naloxone. It's a spray that can be squirted up someone's nose if they are OD'ing. It cancels out the effects of heroin. They are, or were, giving it away to junkies, so that if their friends are OD'ing they can prevent it. The junkies are not too keen on it, as it blocks all heroin for days. So they go into instant withdrawal.

Naloxone lasts in the body for 30 - 120 minutes depending on which source you look at. Heroin can last longer than that in the body depending on dosage. There are some variances caused by administration route and dose but its effects are known to wear off more quickly than opiates. 

A key part of naloxone training delivered by community harm reduction teams is to give it a small amount at a time (0.4mg every few minutes up to 2mg) as to not completely ruin the effect of the drug. The reason for this is to ensure rescuer safety as ambulance crews are regularly verbally and sometimes physically assaulted by overdose victims who have 'lost their hit'

> I cant believe that with all the death, petty crime and organised crime, that they are still not giving away free shots of morphine, in a controlled environment. Treat addiction like a disease, provide a treatment and manage it in a sensible way. The benefits to society and the cost savings would be colossal.

I take it you haven't heard of methadone then?

 Stichtplate 31 Jul 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The Scottish Government wanted to trial controlled dispensing as has been successful in Portugal.  Drugs policy is a reserved matter and the Tories refused permission.

It’s totally unconscionable that Westminster interfere in such matters, especially so in a country with largely devolved health, law and policing.

1
 Iamgregp 31 Jul 2021
In reply to Whoever:

It’s heroin. You can’t inject a heroine, well you can but she might or like it!

Post edited at 16:31
 Offwidth 31 Jul 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Come off it. Your obsession with going for Tom is a massive distraction from the fact he his totally correct  about the UK government refusing to let Scotland act the way they want to on dealing with this  and many other aspects of the terrible Scottish drug problem.

 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmscotaf/698/69802.htm

10
In reply to climber david:

>Naloxone lasts in the body for 30 - 120 minutes depending on which source you look at. Heroin can last longer than that in the body depending on dosage. There are some variances caused by administration route and dose but its effects are known to wear off more quickly than opiates. 

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that.

>I take it you haven't heard of methadone then?

Correct me if I'm wrong (again) but, I thought methadone was for maintenance of addicts. It doesn't provide a high, but it stops the pain of withdrawal. Many junkies are on methadone, but still use heroin. I have read that what the addicts want is an opiate that gets them high. What the medical profession wants, is a clean drug that can be monitored and reduced over time. By giving the addicts what they want, but in a controlled way, reduces harm.

 Stichtplate 31 Jul 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Come off it. Your obsession with going for Tom is a massive distraction from the fact he his totally correct  about the UK government refusing to let Scotland act the way they want to on dealing with this  and many other aspects of the terrible Scottish drug problem.

Errr…. I’m whole heartedly agreeing with him. There’s a load of stuff Tom posts that I agree with, in fact there’s only one issue we completely disagree on .

Post edited at 17:24
 Pedro50 31 Jul 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Come off it. Your obsession with going for Tom is a massive distraction from the fact he his totally correct  about the UK government refusing to let Scotland act the way they want to on dealing with this  and many other aspects of the terrible Scottish drug problem.

Perhaps reread and reconsider.

 Iamgregp 02 Aug 2021
In reply to dread-i:

No, methadone gives you a high.  Similar kind of high to the real stuff, though less powerful.  

 Mike Stretford 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Errr…. I’m whole heartedly agreeing with him. 

I must admit I had to re-read your post that I also whole heartedly agree with. It make total sense but 'unconscionable' doesn't crop up too much!

 Forest Dump 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

Which people can and do top up with the real stuff. Methadone is unlikely to give any long term addict a high due to tolerance, hence the need / want to to top up..

As discussed, potentially better just giving them diamorphine on a maintenance script 

 Iamgregp 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Forest Dump:

Yes I agree.

 Stichtplate 02 Aug 2021
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> I must admit I had to re-read your post that I also whole heartedly agree with. It make total sense but 'unconscionable' doesn't crop up too much!

Is it really so obscure that Offwidth was unaware of it's meaning? I suppose we'll never know since he's not seen fit to explain, apologise or clarify. Even more odd that 8 people seem to share his misapprehension

In reply to Wingnut:

"Black Fives Matter" supporters don't take the knee.

Because getting up again is becoming a bit of a struggle these days...

In reply to Stichtplate:

When I first read your post I did wonder (for a second) whether it was being sarcastic or serious but quickly decided that it was serious because there was no actual indication of sarcasm in the words themselves (any sarcasm would be completely from how it was read).

Maybe Offwidth read it as sarcasm and didn't stop and double check whether it actually was or not.

In reply to captain paranoia:

I've taken the knee loads of times recently. Because of my current back problems, every time I want to reach something on the floor, the safest way is to take the knee.

In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Currently: street Valium is a mega problem  

Over here we don't have a huge heroin problem and the users are generally known to the authorities.  Quite a few have died in recent years taking fentanyl and ODing on it, it wouldn't surprise me if there's a similar thing going on all over the UK.  As much of our crime is related to drug abuse the Police and customs said it was having a positive effect on the community. Apart from Cannabis and Es our most seized drug is diazepam.

In reply to Forest Dump:

> Which people can and do top up with the real stuff. Methadone is unlikely to give any long term addict a high due to tolerance, hence the need / want to to top up..

> As discussed, potentially better just giving them diamorphine on a maintenance script 

Methadone has a terrible effect on babies born to mother's on the program. It persists longer in their system and the withdrawal signs take longer to be seen. Man those babies can scream! They go through hell, at no fault of their own.

 Offwidth 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

Yes I very much read it as sarcasm, as quite a few posters have attacked Tom's correct view on this subject several times in the past and blamed the Scottish government for incompetence on the issue (if Stichtplate says he hasn't ever done that, I'll apologise to him). It's shameful how the UK government is blocking progress on improved drug treatment in Scotland (with the added bonus of cutting police and legal costs and reduced associated crime) where experiments have been made to cut drug deaths and associated social ills elsewhere with such significant success.

5
 Glug 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

You could have just admitted that you were wrong.

 wildebeeste 03 Aug 2021
In reply to climber david:

Yes. Our aim on the ambulance I work on is to give them just enough to revert respiratory depression without bringing them round  en route to the hospital (we always transport them, which is obviously different to people in the common administering it). Interestingly though, even with that as the aim, we wouldn't start with less than 2mg intranasal. It's just not a very efficient route IME, a significant amount ends up unused. 0.4 is our IM dose.

Our department covers some of the worst areas of opioid/opiate abuse in the US, and much like parts of Scotland it can be a very entrenched and multigenerational problem. My heart breaks for kids born into it. Realistically they have next to no chance 

 Offwidth 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Glug:

I'll happily admit it if it becomes clear I am. As I said, Tom was shamefully attacked on this on earlier threads.  No one will get an apology from me for agreeing with Tom now if they attacked him on the subject earlier (unless they apologised themselves). 

In the end this forum is just chewing the cud. The big issue here is the UK government is blocking known successful life and crime saving mitigation for the sake of conservative political point scoring. Huge numbers of people are suffering more than they need to and many die as a result, it gums up our policing and legal system, and leads to mass petty crime and huge profits for seriously nasty criminal gangs.

5
 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Yes I very much read it as sarcasm, as quite a few posters have attacked Tom's correct view on this subject several times in the past and blamed the Scottish government for incompetence on the issue (if Stichtplate says he hasn't ever done that, I'll apologise to him). It's shameful how the UK government is blocking progress on improved drug treatment in Scotland (with the added bonus of cutting police and legal costs and reduced associated crime) where experiments have been made to cut drug deaths and associated social ills elsewhere with such significant success.

Yep, I've often criticised Scottish government policy but not on this particular issue. I've got consistent history on here of supporting drug decriminalisation and regulation. Also I don't have an "obsession with going for Tom" and in fact could be found singing his praises one day prior to the post in question on another thread.

Hope that's cleared things up for you.

Post edited at 16:08
 Offwidth 03 Aug 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

In that case I apologise.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Tom in Edinburgh aside, who doubtless will blame England, why is Scotland so blighted by drugs to be branded the worst nation in Europe for deaths?

Just noticed an interesting coincidence when the English drug death numbers came out this week and they are substantially up year on year.

Last week when the BBC in Scotland was running their usual SNP bad story on drug deaths and they had their table of Scotland, UK and other EU nations they used 2019 numbers for Scotland and the EU countries but 2017 numbers for UK  i.e. two years less growth.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58024296

The BBC are subtle but they are biased as f*ck.

3
In reply to Offwidth:

> Come off it. Your obsession with going for Tom is a massive distraction from the fact he his totally correct  about the UK government refusing to let Scotland act the way they want to on dealing with this  and many other aspects of the terrible Scottish drug problem.

Did you read the response or just see what you expected to see?

 Offwidth 04 Aug 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

You will have to explain what you mean as yes of course I read it, that was the reason I linked it. The committee had a bunch of recommendations (including one that said  Scotland could do better on devolved matters) and the govenment rejected most.


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