Drug Deaths In Dundee | Just Surviving: A Decade Of Austerity In Scotland

Drug Deaths In Dundee | Just Surviving: A Decade Of Austerity In Scotland


– It’s too strong, drugs too strong. And I know people say, “How could they… they take drugs over their children?” Well, I think they’d have
to be in that position to know, wouldn’t they? – The age of irresponsibility
is giving way to an age of austerity. – They’re all good at shouting about this, shouting about that. They’re not looking at the real issues. – The child poverty rates are staggering. – Over recent years hostility has definitely risen
towards disabled people. – And I know there are many
dedicated public sector workers who work very hard and did
not cause this recession, but they must share the burden as we pay to clean it up. (gentle music) – I think people assume
that when you’re an addict that you can just stop using and, the fact that you don’t,
you’re a weak person or there’s something not
right about you personally. (gentle music) My name’s Sharon Brand. I’m co founder of Recovery Dundee. It’s a self-reliant,
independent recovery community, based in the city of Dundee. There was a blanket ban
on Valium not so long ago, which created a bigger issue
of people using street Valium. (gentle music) I think they thought that
if they banned Valium, drug deaths would stop. I don’t think they’re seeing that the correlation between
Methadone and the drug deaths. Yeah, it’s just compounded
that and made it worse. Liz is a mother and a grandmother. Her daughter died two years
ago of a drug related death. She’s the sole carer of
her granddaughter now and sharing her experience. – I didn’t bring Samantha into this world and look at her and say,
“Oh, you’re gonna be “a drug addict.” She was a wild child, but funny, happy. But she always wanted
to do things her way. She read loads and loads of books. She ended up writing up
to the end, actually. She met somebody, a boy, that knew she was vulnerable. But then I don’t know what happened. She didn’t like life very much. She was quite a lost soul, though she was very
loving when she had Ellie. My God, she was so loving. And I didn’t even hear the door. It was Ellie. And I’d seen the
policewoman’s face and I went, “Erm, is it about her mum?” and she went, “Yeah.” (gentle music) I told Ellie about her mum. (sighs) Yeah, that not something
anybody wants to do. It was horrible, it was actually horrible. It was one of the worst days
of my life, to be honest. You cope with it on your own. Nobody wants to know. The stigma is that well, it’s
obviously the parents’ fault. That’s fair enough, they want
to blame me they can blame me all they want, doesn’t bother me ’cause I know it’s not true. Adidalum, Pregabalin and Methadone. That was the three stuff,
things that were found in her body. (gentle music) – So Methadone is an
opiate-based treatment and done right it would be a
great option for treatment, but that’s not been happening and it is just perpetuating
more addiction, because people use on top of it. They’re putting their lives
at risk because of it. Things are getting better
with social prescribing, like they’ll give you
gym passes and connect you with your community, but essentially the NHS just medicate
you and nothing else. For somebody to come from
that to then going back to normal life without
doing the work in between, It’s near on impossible to do that. – My name’s Liam Honeyman. I am 31 years old and I am
45 days clean of Methadone. I’d got the jitters so many times. I’d had enough. I’d hit 24 and I thought,
“Come on, I need to go “and get a Methadone script.” No, I went up and told my mum, “Mum, I’ve been using heroin.” and she’s like, “Please go
and get a Methadone script.” I thought she was gonna
chuck me out the house, but she didn’t. She said, “Please go and get
a Methadone script, ’cause “at least you’re getting
something from the doctor, “rather than buying something
that could kill you.” (gentle music) I decided to lock myself in the house and just do it myself, ’cause I’ve had so many first appointments,
addiction, Addaction. Everything, I’ve had every
single bit of counseling and none of it has worked,
apart from locking myself away and doing it. This way, I believe you
should have centers for people that could just get locked
away, but get fed every day, counseling, maybe a sleeping
tablet every third night, just so they can get to
sleep, ’cause it’s honestly, it’s like 24 hours of being awake. It’s horrible. That would be my
conclusion, ’cause keeping them out here and giving them Methadone, they’re still going and
taking heroin anyway. You have to be ready. You need to be ready up here. You need to do it for yourself, you can’t do it for anybody else. You can’t get somebody to do it for you. You have to want to do it and
you have to need to do it. (gentle music) – Obviously, there’s been
cuts across the board for every services, so don’t
think treatment services for addiction are any different. These are vital services
that need to exist. The budget in Dundee, I know for a fact, 75% of that goes to the
NHS when we’ve learned that treatment and being on medication is a tiny portion of getting
better, through addiction. There’s now three generations of families that have been unemployed, so
you’ve got three generations of people that have been addicted, and then their grandchildren and children are now becoming addicted, so on. I think there need to be
more options about treatment. I think that Methadone has
been the one and only option in Dundee for a long, long time. (gentle music) Yeah, the open mic, we started
that about seven months ago. We started it with doing
events every three months and they were very successful. People come, they get support. It builds confidence, their self-esteem. People that have never sang
before will get up and sing. Some really nice things
have came out of open mic and families coming together that have probably been fractured or disconnected for a long time. It’s a form of support
that’s not structured, so people don’t feel like
you’re analysing them or putting too much pressure on them, and probably don’t even
realise that you’re supporting them at the time. – When we meet for a
coffee and we have a chat, she makes sure that I’m still all right, how I’m feeling. We just talk and we have
group cafes, which everybody can explain their own experiences. It’s just the having people
that are positive in my life. I’m looking to the future now. (gentle music)

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