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 Dundee
Topic Originator: parbucks  
Date:   Thu 27 Jun 22:31

Just watched the national ITV news with the first item covering the serious drugs problem in Dundee.

Seem to recall a few months ago a Sunday Times article that said Dundee was the best place to stay in Scotland.

What’s going on? Who do you believe?
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Andrew283  
Date:   Thu 27 Jun 22:39

Beat place to live because of the drugs? In all honestly, living in Dundee and coming home every now and again, Dunfermline town is a far bigger state than Dundee right now,not that that's a high bar though
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: desparado  
Date:   Thu 27 Jun 23:49

Saw a documentary about the homeless in major cities across UK a few months back. Drugs a major issue also.

The one I remember most vividly was about Manchester, it was truly shocking.

Drug use out of control all across UK and most developed countries.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: SAP PAR  
Date:   Fri 28 Jun 08:27

Over 1000 drug deaths in Scotland in 2018, the worst figures in the EU coupled with a 15% increase in Suicides. Heartbreaking 😒
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: P  
Date:   Fri 28 Jun 09:16

Dundee is pretty big in Scottish terms so it is possible for both to be right. A lot depends on the cards life dealt you and where you live which camp you fall in.


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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: General Zod  
Date:   Fri 28 Jun 12:51

If there are plenty of drugs then I’d have to agree that it’s a great place to stay.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: PARrot  
Date:   Fri 28 Jun 16:22

Quote:

General Zod, Fri 28 Jun 12:51

If there are plenty of drugs then I’d have to agree that it’s a great place to stay.


You are quite funny much of the time but this really isnt a thing we should laugh at. I've had good friends...really intelligent people who have ended their lives through drugs. I watched youngsters in the Cowdengelly area visibly deteriorate even over the few years I did taxis there. I have a few people I know through foster care who ended up on heroin after going to live in Dundee and Cowdenbeath.
Drugs aren't funny. We have far too liberal an attitude to drug taking in this country.

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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Andrew283  
Date:   Fri 28 Jun 18:42

Britain is anything but liberal when it comes to drugs.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Fri 28 Jun 20:36

I lived in Dundee for 3 years during my student days - it has an unusual layout, way different from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The centre is relatively small and then you have all the satellite housing estates surrounding the city.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: desparado  
Date:   Fri 28 Jun 23:01

Drug deaths/suicides are invariably linked to socioeconomic problems and therefore linked to government policies or lack of as the case maybe.

I think I am right in saying that Scotland has always had a higher suicide rate than the rest of the Uk.

We also had a higher crime rate and murder rate but I believe these figures are comparable with the UK or even better now.

Glasgow was the murder capital of Western Europe ten years or so ago and now the rate is way down.


Still no idea why Dundee in particular seems to have such a high rate of drug related deaths though.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: PARrot  
Date:   Sat 29 Jun 00:58

Quote:

Andrew283, Fri 28 Jun 18:42

Britain is anything but liberal when it comes to drugs.


I wasn't referring to the law.

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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Sat 29 Jun 10:33

Quote:

PARrot, Sat 29 Jun 00:58

Quote:

Andrew283, Fri 28 Jun 18:42

Britain is anything but liberal when it comes to drugs.


I wasn't referring to the law.


The law informs social attitudes.

I have to agree with Andrew: we have a problem with how we, as a society, view drugs and it's not because we're too liberal it's because we view drugs as a criminal justice issue rather than a health issue.

The people I work with take drugs because of severe trauma (families and/or war can do horrific things to people sometimes) yet our system is still more or less set up to view them as a policing issue (although it is slowly getting better tbf) despite the fact that Leo, the local community police officer, tells me that every time he arrests one of my clients he just takes them straight to hospital where they are discharged after a few hours (to treat the immediate threat to life) to start the cycle over again. They need proper medical and psychological intervention not an admittedly very understanding cop harassing them.

This plays into my first point because what society sees is the police interaction, they don't see the medical interaction and so their experience is that it is a criminal justice issue and that's a decidedly illiberal attitude. It's also a stupid one, but that's besides the point.

It's also worth noting that the public's generally illiberal attitude to drug use is what's keeping our laws stuck in panic mode. There's a massive outcry every time a politician even hints at relaxing drug laws - remember when cannabis was downgraded? Suddenly weed was the biggest threat to western civilisation and "skunk" was worse than heroin.

I have to accept though that the Tories' legal highs legislation was a masterpiece. It worked essentially as intended (at least outside prisons) and has improved the wellbeing of a lot of vulnerable people so sometimes the law can make a positive difference. Of course they all just moved to smack and vallies and because of better quality coke we are starting to see crack more commonly in Edinburgh. If/when the meth supply gets sorted we may have another massive epidemic.

Diane Abbott for PM.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Sat 29 Jun 10:49

My daughter did her teacher training up at Douglas High School and she was shocked by it.
Having been taught at Lochgelly High, she said it was a nightmare.
Toughened her up for her career at Queen Anne!
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: PARrot  
Date:   Sat 29 Jun 14:47

I absolutely agree with you Wotsit. When I say we are too liberal it maybe wasn't the best choise of words. Maybe complacent fits better. Too much laughing and joking about a serious matter. I witnessed plenty in the taxi. Your only young once neebur....got tae hae a blast eh!
Aye ok.

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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: General Zod  
Date:   Sat 29 Jun 19:10

Some folk just enjoy getting wasted. It’s something you’ll just have to accept. It’s been going on for centuries.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Sat 29 Jun 19:27

Cheers for the clarification Parrot.

Trouble is that people who are off their faces are completely lacking social awareness so taxis at night must be a nightmare, especially if you're not trained to deal with that sort of unpredictable behaviour. Many should probably be in ambulance rather than a taxi I expect?

I've gone out on early morning patrol with the cops here in Edinburgh and it was an eye opener - I certainly don't envy you!

Diane Abbott for PM.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: sadindiefreak  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 09:00

Quote:

SAP PAR, Fri 28 Jun 08:27

Over 1000 drug deaths in Scotland in 2018, the worst figures in the EU coupled with a 15% increase in Suicides. Heartbreaking 😒


The vast majority of the drug deaths in Scotland is of people who have had long term exposure having been addicts for decades. The deaths are from medical conditions caused by drug taking.
If you compare drug deaths without including these then Scotland is comparable to most other countries.
Drug consumption rooms are one thing the SG are looking at in an effort to save lives.
Unfortunately opposition parties who are very vocal in criticism of the SNP for the death rates refuse to support any initiative that may tackle the problem.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 09:29

Nimbyism is a massive problem too.

Edinburgh council is opening a new specialist health service for drug users and a former Scottish international rugby player who owns tourist lets in the area started a poster campaign with the slogan "if you want a junky for a neighbour, vote labour" - this is based on a notorious bye-election in the 1960s where the Tory candidate won using the same slogan only with "junky" replaced with the n-word.

Diane Abbott for PM.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: parsmad68  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 09:35

Drug addiction and problems in society and towns brought about by drug problems is a huge issue in our country.
On reviewing data to determine if this was a “western problem”, I was surprised to find that one of the highest rates was in Iran mainly due to the routing from Afghanistan.
It did show also that the the UK was in one of the lowest brackets for help for substance abusers.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Rastapari  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 09:53

When they take alcohol seriously I'll join the conversation.

I Hope You're Ok Today....
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 11:46

Dundee is a bit of a dump tbh. A nice museum can only do so much in making a place attractive.

The main issue will be deprivation. Cities like Dundee and Glasgow have the poorest health in Scotland. They're also the most deprived. Deprivation is no doubt linked with adverse childhood experiences, which can cause serious issues in later life.

It's not jusr drugs though, alcohol is a major issue. Introducing minimum unit pricing has had some effect but still limited. I would suspect making booze more expensive no doubt leads to those who REALLY want booze turning to more dangerous solutions.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 14:21

Well minimum pricing has already meant that folk with alcohol dependancies have stopped buying gutrot cider. However they are now stealing handwash (90% alcohol) from hospitals instead, so that's more of a mixed result than an outright win for the legislation!

Diane Abbott for PM.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: widtink  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 14:37

Folk have been stealing hand sanitizer from hospitals for years though. It's not a new thing.
I don't have the figures to hand... But I read about folk with alcohol dependency stealing hand sanitizer over 10 years ago.





Post Edited (Sun 30 Jun 14:38)
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Sun 30 Jun 15:07

It was something that happened from time to time (eg something folk would do if they were desparate) but it was never much of an issue outside a few hospitals in London.

Now it's happening practically every day in the ERI. This is direct from the staff at Edinburgh Access Practice (a medical practice for people sleeping rough).

Another outcome of the minimum pricing policy in Edinburgh has been an increase in shoplifting alcohol, which is why we see our clients are now drinking wee tins of JD and coke instead of water bottles full of cider.

Diane Abbott for PM.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: parbucks  
Date:   Tue 16 Jul 23:03

Latest figures from deaths due to drugs place Scotland with the worst death rate in the EU.
Not a statistic to be proud of and clearly needs urgent attention.

The data says the death rate is three times the U.K. average so what next?

Change the rules on legalisation? Recognise Scotland is a special case?
Why?



Post Edited (Tue 16 Jul 23:04)
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 00:07

It's partly the so-called 'Trainspotting Generation' of users from the 80s and early 90s who have never stopped and are geting towards 50 now(edit:think Spud in T2)

Add into the mix an influx of fake xanax (which seems to be the main killer up here) and fentanyl, you're looking at a disaster.

The fake pills are basically a random dose of a random cocktail of drugs - and other nearby stuff that's usually not good for folk either - and they're cheap (50p each apparently) so well within the price range of a heroin user who can't quite raise the tenner for a dig but can get ten xanax for a fiver.

Crack is apoearing more in edinburgh now as well. I've even seen boxes of what are obviosly crack pipes on newsagent counters in edinburgh city centre. Definitely an epidemic in waiting in Edinburgh and it's frankly astounding that it's remained so niche until now.

Harm reduction is the answer in my view. Along with safe, medically supervised, prescriptions of their addicted substance.

Firstly it removes a huge barrier for people engaging with recovery: it's basically cold turkey or nowt, and that's without the criminality issue, which is minimal now but some folk who take smack aren't really thinking straight. Possibly because of all the heroin.

Secondly, criminals sell less smack because there are fewer customers for their crud. Now drugs have less of an oppressive presence in poorer communities. Cut off the dealers' demand.

Thirdly, it dramatically improves the health of the users since they will be injecting clean, properly dosed, gear. Which will, in turn, save the NHS a fortune. I've seen some horrific injection woulds and heard stories about folk using puddle water, spit or urine to prepare their hit. These are the lengths that some folk will go to to get high.

All of that's surely a medical problem rather than a legal one, right?

Diane Abbott for PM.

Post Edited (Wed 17 Jul 00:19)
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 15:20

Can blame Westminster for it but why would drug deaths be different in Dundee than Dunstable?
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 15:54

why would drug deaths be different in Dundee than Dunstable?

Poverty.

There was huge poverty in urban Scotland in the 1980s and problematic substance use is strongly linked to poverty.

That this massive rise in deaths is tied in to the spate of addiction in the 1980s is shown by the fact that folk over 40s are where most deaths are happening. We are talking about folk who have been injecting street heroin (and whatever else) for 30-odd years and we have a larger than usual cohort of folk in that position due to all the folk who got addicted in the 80s (The Trainspotting Generation of users) then just kept going.

Diane Abbott for PM.

Post Edited (Wed 17 Jul 19:58)
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 17:16

But surely there was similar poverty across the whole of the UK in the 80s, especially in mining communities? People are pointing fingers at the SNP and the SNP point fingers at Westminster but this is a 20 year old problem, not a recent one.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: widtink  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 18:21

Pointing fingers and playing the blame game is exactly what we don't need here.
It makes no difference who's to blame.
This needs swift action now.
But as usual... There will be a report commissioned at so many million pounds that takes a year or so to complete and in the end very little good will come from it all.
Meanwhile the next generation are growing up quickly and can now score drugs at high school.
And the circle continues...



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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 18:24

So surely what we need to do NOW is look at why we differ so much to the rest of the UK. Personally, I'd legalise drugs in a manner similar to Portugal, but first we need to understand why things have become so bad in Scotland in comparison to the rest of the UK.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 18:51

We have more NOW because we used to have more, so we still do.

NIMBYism is one of the biggest factors holding back progress. People with a drug problem have been demonised so effectively that nobody wants a safe injecting facility or a needle exchange on their street.

I see that even the Daily Record is campaigning for decriminalisation now - it might be the first time I've been fully on board with a Daily record campaign!
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Aylesbury_Par  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 20:51

FAO Wotsit!

Thanks for sharing a meaningful insight into an issue you obviously have carried out some real world research into without trying to play party politics or score points over as some tend to do on here.

Lets face it any stats being reported now will be as a result of many decades of historical reasons and no political party/parliament is solely to blame or totally absolved from castigation.

If others could focus on understanding the issues without trying to make headlines or score political points there may be chance of improving things.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 20:59

We can help the existing issues by introducing the likes of fix rooms but the best success would be to minimise people turning to drugs in the first place. Solve the problem rather than simply treating it.

The fix room issue I really don't get. There's plenty of pharmacies around knocking out methadone. One is slap bang in the middle of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The users typically cause no issues in my experience. You DO notice a lot of them as they tie their dogs up by the bus stop but they don't cause anyone any bother. How is a fix room any different to a pharmacy?
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 21:12

Here's another excellent article in the Record I may have to rethink my opinion of them!

The political reality here is that politicians, of all parties and in all parliaments who have had a say, have let these people down in a big way with their cowardice by taking the politically easy road of stoking the flames of hatred and filling the prisons with people who shouldn't have been there rather than put on their big girl pants and take unpopular decisions and change opinions for the greater good. None of the bigger parties (and most of the wee ones) have clean hands on this, so there's no need to point score - it's a nil-nil-nil-nil draw so best just get on with it.

Incidentally, John Budd(from the record article) is the doctor I mentioned before (can't remember if it was this thread?) and he's a total legend. His surgery is basically a parade of chaos and he deals with it all without losing hope or sight of the bigger picture ("compassion fatigue" is a common problem for people in his line of work) whilst being eloquent enough to make people listen to taking a scientific, health-based approach to a growing problem. Ben Goldacre has been ploughing the same lonely furrow for years too.

Diane Abbott for PM.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: londonparsfan  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 21:14

The safe rooms allow the drug users to take their own drugs rather than the pharmacy prescribed ones.

It's meant to be a clean safe space where there is a lower health risk and medical supervision. They also try and get users to begin rehabilitation too.
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 Re: Dundee
Topic Originator: Wotsit  
Date:   Wed 17 Jul 21:28

We can help the existing issues by introducing the likes of fix rooms but the best success would be to minimise people turning to drugs in the first place. Solve the problem rather than simply treating it.

The theory is that by providing a cleaner supply you are removing the demand for the dealers, leading to fewer dealers and less chance of folk coming across the opportunity to use. Even if they do in the short term, they'll soon move over to the legal supply and eventually cut off demand.

The fix room issue I really don't get. There's plenty of pharmacies around knocking out methadone. One is slap bang in the middle of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The users typically cause no issues in my experience. You DO notice a lot of them as they tie their dogs up by the bus stop but they don't cause anyone any bother. How is a fix room any different to a pharmacy?

I think it's probably to do with the fact that a pharmacy is multi-use (we all use it sometimes) whilst most people have no image of a fix room other than as somewhere that drug users congregate and we have been conditioned to perceive that negatively and as something we don't want in out communities.

There's actually been a campaign by a Royal Mile resident (and former Scotland rugby player) against a plan for a combined health and housing service for rough sleepers in the area. He used the slogan "If you want a junky for a neighbour, vote Labour" which is a one word change from a very racist bye-election poster from the 1950s or 60s.
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