One-armed addict Michael arrives at a derelict scrap of land near Glasgow city centre littered with used syringes and other drug detritus to inject cocaine. He is helped by a fellow user, Bryan, who quickly mixes the white powder with distilled water in a small spoon and draws the liquid up into two needles. Moments later, the pair, barely hidden in the wasteland site, drop their trousers and shoot the narcotic-laced fluid into their leg veins. Bryan, an addict since the age of 16, licks the tip of his needle to get every last drop. “It’s from just living on the street constantly — (it’s) just readily available,” Michael, 42, said, of his chronic cocaine habit, noting it was also currently easing the pain from a severe abscess on his ankle. “I started out with heroin but I’m on a methadone programme so I don’t touch heroin anymore,” the gaunt and emaciated addict added, in his thick Glaswegian accent. The pair, identified only by their first names, are examples of worsening drug misuse across Scotland, where drug-related death rates are now the highest in the European Union, according to the National Records of Scotland office. The statistics released in July… Read full this story
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