Happy Christmas, let’s legalise heroin.
It’s time to get serious about Scotland’s drug problem.
Too many lives have been ruined over too many generations for us to believe that our drug laws are doing anything to help those ensnared by heroin.
Take a walk around Dundee city centre and you’ll see plenty of people whose lives are now owned by the drug.
Overdose deaths are all too common in this city. So too is the violence associated with the drug. Yet it continues to snare new victims.
Trainspotting 2 comes out next year. Film 4 heralded the trailer by announcing on Twitter the ‘boys are back’ like the four main characters were The A-Team. They are not: three were hapless addicts and the other a psychotic alcoholic.
There is nothing glamorous about heroin addiction, even when portrayed by actors like Ewan McGregor or Johnny Lee Miller.
Ask any police officer or social worker, doctor or nurse about the human wreckage they meet, the women selling themselves on the street, the collapsed veins, lost limbs and orphaned children.
Ask the family of Mary Logie, the pensioner from Leven in Fife, beaten to death by an addict desperate for money to feed her habit.
Heroin’s a killer and this year in Dundee its victims have been found in flats, in gardens and behind shops, never mind those whose lonely deaths occur behind closed doors and hidden from public view.
Prohibition has failed for generations – it has to be time for something new.
There’s no magic wand so prescribing heroin is possibly the least worst option available. At least it would ensure those addicts are getting a regular, safe supply – no anthrax or deadly variations in purity- as well as regular health checks and medical treatment.
Of course, such a move would not be a vote winner. Politicians would rather wring hands than grasp the nettle.
Instead, nothing continues to happen other than a monumental and tragic waste of life.
We’re happy to write addicts off as “junkies” with no one to blame but themselves. But we should remember they are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and we need to help them.