Scotland’s Valium Crisis | Drugs Map of Britain

Scotland’s Valium Crisis | Drugs Map of Britain


When did you first take Valium? When I was about 13 years old. People continue to mix drugs
and take substances like diazepam. They’re dying. HE COUGHS Do you want me to pop you down?
I’ve got you, I’ve got you. Watch yourself. The last time I seen him, he was
like a skeleton with a skin graft. Diazepam’s always been around
and it’s always been consistent. Scotland’s little helper.
Yes, Scotland’s little helper, yeah. Whilst alcohol, ecstasy and heroin
have historically been at the centre of Scotland’s drug scene,
Valium has been a silent partner, hard at work in the background, with many users craving
a tranquilised existence. It’s 10.15am
and Jamie is calling his dealer. Hi, mate, cool.
Eh, what, a score, mate, a score. Nae worries mate, that sounds ideal.
Cheers mate, sweet. It’s like your…
it’s your favourite kind of sweetie. It tastes like that. He has a Valium addiction and, like thousands of
other people in Scotland, he doesn’t get the pills
from his doctor. He buys them from a local dealer. Do you want to show us
what you got then? Aye. So, how many’s in there? It’s ten, ten in each strip. Yeah. But you bought 20? Aye, aye, that’s why,
when I said a score, that means 20. How much does 20 cost? £20. Aye, that’s breakfast. All right? Yes, go. Excuse me. Would you consider yourself
to be dependent on Valium? At the moment, aye, yeah. It fills that emptiness and
it feels like it’s your own shield. You’re wrapped in bubble wrap and
things don’t really matter as much. But then again, the problem’s
still there in the morning, if you’re willing
to just not address it. But they certainly do help
and calm the stresses of life. Scotland has a big problem with
Valium, otherwise known as diazepam. 76% of drug-related deaths involve
the pills, or drugs similar to them, compared to figures in England
and Wales of just 11%. Right. In Dundee, there has been
a recent spate of overdoses involving
the once widely prescribed drug. It wasn’t long before I met Billy,
who explained to me the wide range of pills
available on the street. Right, so that’s MTZ,
so what are these pills like? How much are these each? So that’s 50p per pill? Is the going rate, basically. Aye. It was clear from talking to Billy that not all the blue pills on
the street contain genuine Valium. Many of them were fake. I met Kenny Simpson
at Police Scotland who has made tackling the Valium
issue a priority. He showed me
a range of fake Valium tablets recovered from raids
on DIY drug factories. This is just a sample
of a large seizure of tablets that have been illicitly produced. We’ve had seizures of
a million tablets in one operation, so that reflects the scale
of what’s actually out there. The main issues are twofold. The illicit production
of the tablets, which brings with it the concerns
that it’s not pharmacists. And then the serious and organised
crime involvement in diverting blister pack tablets
from lawful production. Probably one of the most
understated drugs and has been
for a long number of years. The users can be quite ambivalent
about what the outcome is in terms of their health. But if people continue
to mix drugs and take substances like diazepam,
or the equivalent, they’re dying. Many of these blue pills contain
Valium-like drugs far stronger, and potentially more dangerous, than
whatever users think they’re buying. Back in Dundee, I met a user
named Levi and his friend AJ. They’d known each other
since Levi was young. The whole time he’d been
addicted to Valium. Levi was heading home to take some
blue pills he’d recently bought. Did you put them in the kinder egg? Aye, aye. The pills Levi was taking looked
very similar to the fake tablets I’d seen at the police station. They had NTZ stamped on them
and were sold loose. When you moved to Dundee, did you find that Valium was
very easily available? Wow. When did you first take Valium? How old are you now? Would you usually take 30, 40 Valium
as well as smoking legal highs and taking methadone? Yes. OK. That’s not unusual. Like many users,
Levi was taking Valium with a combination of other drugs. This can be particularly dangerous, and the effects were
really starting to show. HE SLURPS You’re jerking a bit, mate. Do you
want me to help you pick that up? Pop it on the floor.
Pop it on the floor. Um… HE LAUGHS Sorry, mate, just really surprised
me then, came out of nowhere. Well, you could say that.
THEY LAUGH HE MUMBLES As we continued to chat,
there were moments when it became difficult
to understand Levi. HE SLURS He’d have moments of clarity
and then drop off. I thought you fell asleep then. HE COUGHS LABORIOUSLY Do you want to pop you down?
I’ve got you, I’ve got you. Watch yourself. Watch yourself. How are you feeling? I’ll just put this out
so it doesn’t burn the carpet. You’ve got a Bible over there.
Yeah, yeah. You’re Christian? Mm. LEVI MUMBLES That kind of smells like
it might be burning. LEVI MUMBLES I’ll tell you what, it’s amazing. Mm-hm. Would you like to stop
taking Valium? Yeah. THEY LAUGH Levi was shutting himself off
from the world to avoid getting into trouble
whilst high on Valium – the very drug he used to deal
with loneliness and isolation. Valium has been widely prescribed
for anxiety and depression since the ’60s. However, in the late ’80s,
doctors started to scale this back because so many patients
developed addictions. Gareth Balmer has worked
to help drug users for ten years
at the charity Addaction. He explained to me why Scotland has
such a big problem with Valium. Like lots of things
it was seen as a bit of a panacea. I mean this is not a Scottish thing,
this is a worldwide thing. And they work. And so they were prescribed,
but nobody really saw the problems. Because when they were first sold,
not addictive. I think you can find adverts,
you know, there’s this new great drug,
it’s not addictive, it’s not like the barbiturates
or some of these other drugs that are dangerous,
it’s going to be great. They were wrong, it was
dependence-producing or addictive. And interestingly has
a really quite severe withdrawal. How many pills, what kind of doses
are people taking that you’re seeing
coming into the service? It’s not abnormal for somebody
to be taking 30, 40 a day. If you take a drug every day,
you build tolerance to that drug. Like a lot of medicines,
the longer you take something, the less effective
it tends to become. You tend to see
more of the negative side effects and less of the positive effects
of the drugs over a long period of time.
And a lot of people using drugs, they’re always chasing that feeling
that they’ll never get back. Why is there such a high use
of Valium in Scotland? We are famous for caring about
our money in Scotland, so, you know, £10 rock of crack, smoke it, you’ll be stimulated
for 10, 15 minutes. It’ll feel good. For the same price, I could have
100mg of diazepam where you can escape from your
reality for the next couple of days. Diazepam’s always been around,
and it’s always been consistent. Scotland’s little helper.
Yes, Scotland’s little helper, yes. Do you think the rise of
drug-related deaths in Scotland is connected to the extensive
use of Valium on the street? I would say, on its own,
no, it’s not. Unfortunately, when people
are dying from drug death, overdose in Scotland,
it’s poly-drug use. It’s Valium plus alcohol,
it’s Valium plus heroin, it’s Valium plus methadone. So, when it’s used in combination
with those drugs, yes, it is dangerous and it is
implicated in those deaths, from our perspective. Normally what’s happened to people
is they’re becoming so relaxed that their brain just stops
telling them to breathe any more. Gareth put me in touch with
Jo Roden, whose son, John, had died after taking the tablets,
aged 32. Like Levi, and many other users, John had mixed Valium
with methadone. Jo took me to the flat where John’s
body had been found three years ago. This is wee John’s house in the
first tenement there on the top. Have you been down here since? No. You’ve not been down since? No. Do you find yourself kind of craning
round when you pass in the car? I didn’t look. If it’s a coping mechanism or what,
I don’t know. Nice place he lived in,
nothing the matter with it, it’s just where he died. It’s only a house. He’s no there. I didn’t really want to look at it,
but that’s it. Cos it’s the same blinds. Does that haunt you, that?
Yes, cos I broke them. Cos when I’d went in,
the police had the blinds down, like the way they are now. And I tried to pull them up
and the string came away and I grabbed at them
and I broke them. So… Know what I mean, that’s where
he died sitting on his sofa. It’s hard to believe. You know. It is. Jo, mate, come here. THEY CHUCKLE Are there a lot of people
in the wider community who’ve lost people to Valium
as well? Yes, definitely yes. At least one a month. How many people do you personally
know who’ve lost people to… Personally? ..to Valium overdoses? Five. Five personally? And that’s
all in the last few years? Yes. Last year. In the last year? Yeah. Jo’s close friend Caroline lost
her brother Shaun to an overdose involving Valium four years ago. Everything like, my wee brother, it was just like a hit
in the face for me. He was the baby,
I never expected it from him. You seen him and you seen that
he was getting worse and worse. And the last time I seen him he was
like a skeleton with a skin graft. Mmm. It was like you could see
his bones right through his skin. It was horrible. Do you ever really think about maybe
why your brother took drugs? I can’t understand how he started. I think at first they think
they can control their drug intake, but they can’t,
the drugs take over, don’t they? And that’s hard,
that’s hard for us to live with. You’re angry at people
that are making them, you’re angry at people that are
sending them, you just get angry. And then it’s all sadness. You’re angry at them
for taking them… but they took them for a reason and I think it’s
to escape from your reality. I mean,
it didn’t matter what I said to him. Didn’t matter what anybody
said to him, know what I mean? And…then… ..you’ve just got to… ..um… It’s just a downward spiral,
isn’t it? Rather than an upward struggle,
it’s a downward spiral, isn’t it? Mm. Earlier on, I promised Levi
I would pop back to see him. However, when I got to his flat,
he seemed pretty out of it. I met with Levi’s friend AJ, who’d
previously been his drug worker. She decided to visit him when she’d heard about the cocktail
of drugs that he’d been taking. Levi, it’s AJ! It’s AJ, man.
Get a grip of yourself, kid. Check your eyes. Yeah, you have. You’ve took two strips, haven’t you? See, see what I mean? Don’t lie
to me, don’t lie to me, Levi. 20 what? What do you want? Do you know where you should be?
Where I am. You can’t cope on your own, Levi. The way you are now. LEVI MUMBLES You know what I’m going to
say to you, don’t you, Levi? Yes. The doctor.
Get the fucker cleaned up now. Get you fucking cleaned up
and get your head sorted. Get your finger out your arse, mate. Don’t do what everybody else
is doing around you and do what you want to do. I have never ever
seen your flat like this before. I’ve seen you in this state.
Worse than this. But I’ve never seen your flat
like this, please, I… You know, if that lad didn’t come for me
tonight and I didn’t see you, d’you know what would happen? No.
I’d be looking for you in Dundee. For you. That’s me. Worried about you, but again… you cannot kid a kidder. Been there and done it myself. No, man. Exactly. I know someone who works… LEVI MUMBLES Please don’t smoke that
in front of me. That legal high. Please,
I don’t take it myself, so… Thank you. Whoa, Levi man! Ha’way, son. Ha’way. Put your head together, kidda. Give your head a shake. Levi, man. Pull yourself together, kidda. He’s had a bereavement. He had two when I was working
with him and obviously he’s had another one since I haven’t been working
with him. So that’s three
in the last four year. You know, so that is quite a thing
on his head, playing. And he hasn’t grieved over it. He hasn’t. I don’t like seeing you like this,
you know. I’d like to boot you up the arse
and get you into gear. Sorry…sorry for swearing. Don’t be daft. But that’s how I feel like doing. I do, but I can’t. So I know you’re going
to be all right. No, just to know that I know
that you’re going to be all right. How many have you bought today? In a bag? So you’ve took 30 today. Yeah? You’ve took 20 today, darling.
Are you going to be all right? Yes, honestly. I do worry about you, darling. I do. I do worry about you, I do. I’m all right, I’m spot on. I need to know…
What you up to now? He won’t know. He’s just picking
all his legal high wrappers up. I can’t believe you.
You little shithead. Hang them up now. Rosary beads, hang them up. You against Lord? I need… What’s your smoke alarm
doing on the floor? Is he going to be all right to
leave, are you happy to leave him? Yes, I’m happy to leave him
cos he’s… Sound as a pound. He’s sound as a pound,
he knows, he’s talking to me. You know,
he’s opened his eyes like he is now. There with a smile on the face,
you know. I know he’s happy. Right, I’m going anyway, big boy. I love you and leave you,
you know. I do. I’m leaving my spirit in this room
to look after you. Where’s the bin chute? Right outside your door? Yeah. It wants to be, you know.
I’m not going up all those stairs. THEY LAUGH Coming to Dundee,
I had half expected to find people high on Valium having a good time. But the reality was very different. Valium is a lonely drug, offering only a temporary escape
from life’s problems. You need to sort out deprivation.
Unfortunately in Scotland, we have some real
poverty-stricken communities. So I can sit with somebody and
we can really engage with somebody, but unfortunately
they’ve got to go home. I went to meet Levi the next day
to see how he was doing. How many Valium tablets
did you take yesterday? Probably about 100 eventually. So that… Is that a normal amount
for you to take in a day? Yeah. Look, I was on 230 tablets a day and I was still walking around
like it was no tomorrow. Walking around like
it was no tomorrow? Like there was no tomorrow. It could knock a horse out, man. But Levi just wanders along
like there’s nowt the matter. No problem. Do you worry about your health? No. Why? Why bother about health? It’s all you’ve got. We all die some point. I know, but it’s all you’ve got
until that happens. When that happens, it happens. I’m not saying
I want to die early, by any chance, I want a nice long life. But, please believe, I’ve had
some funny old life me, yeah. If I went tomorrow,
it doesn’t matter. What, I mean,
do you want to come off Valium? You want to stop taking Valium.
Yeah. Do you consider yourself
to be addicted? Yes. Everyone has choices in their life
to do right or wrong. It’s up to them to make that choice. Time to start looking for a job
and stuff. Start, um…becoming back
into society and, um, working hard. Like I used to. Used to do voluntary work
and everything and I’m just going through
a blip at the minute. What would you say to people
about Valium as someone who’s had a lot of
close personal experience with it? She can be the loveliest woman
in the world and she can be
the most evilest cow in the world. What, Valium can? Yeah. She can be amazing
and she can be… She can be the god
and she can be the devil. I’ll get mine, yeah. Hello, there. HE TALKS TO THE WAITRESS I’m good enough to come in here… You’ve been very helpful, thank you. No problem.

100 comments

  1. My God, I am a person who drinks. I hate the fact that I need booze to relax. I exercise,try to eat right. But I never, never feel ?? Normal. Constant anxiety attacks, panic. Since age 14. I truly wish I could be totally drug free.!! Sadly my brother died from opiate intoxication, another brother from cancer. My wife divorced me because I was drinking way to much. It was depression. Depression sucks.life is short, sometimes I wish God would show up and say… It is ok, I love you, don't be sad, don't have fear, anxiety, I created you to live a life of TRUST and belief. God bless you all

  2. Just think…all American housewives in the 60s and 70s were addicted to this shit also. Instead of getting jobs they sat around popping "mommies little helper"

  3. I come off a ten year Xanax and herion addiction and the wer both brutal the the benzo was way worse takes weeks to come clean from them a week for the herion I started feeli g good enuff to eat but couldn't cus I was miserably sick from the dope

  4. This documentary is making Valium look a lot worse than it is , these people are taking around ten tablets each as well as methadone , weed and other stuff its no wonder they are falling to sleep and that yes it is true Valium are no good for anybody but ten x 10mg is a absolutely massive dosage…

  5. Shout out to all recovering addicts, stay strong people we can do this!! 2 years and 1 month clean of herion/ fentanyl. Only thing I take any more is my prescribed 5mg valium as needed and a little bit of bud here and there. Someday I'll be pill free and just smoke herb. Stay healthy peeps we only get one life so take care while we are still here. Life's to short to throw it away for a high, there is much more to life then being stupid high. Anyone who read this take care and have a great day! 😛

  6. This guy Levi really needs a caring HELP 😩😩.

    As a human, I feel it's our society's moral responsibilities and give a try to bring him and others alike to bring them to normal society life. 👍✌

  7. Benzos addiction sucks. And sadly the doctors give it to us recovering and it sends us down another path of addiction. Not blaming the doctors. I make my own choices.. right now I have a great doctor working with me . He's very open about how drugs actually work. I'm smart so we talk about a lot of things. He believes in me… even he told me he feels bad giving me the valium knowing I'm abusing it. But he knows my life will be fucked up if I stop cold turkey and I'll likely go back to using hard drugs if I don't taper off my medication properly.

  8. That presenter doesn't judge at all much respect it's so sad to see people living like that I hope they get the help they need God bless 🙏🏻❤️😔

  9. While it's hopefully valuable for people to see this what I'm not OK with is that you found a man that wasn't of sound mind and asked him to sign consent to be put on this show. Would he have wanted to be on national TV like this had he not been under the influence? That is the question.

  10. Looks like the majority of these people are taking a lot more than 20 or 30 mg’s* and mixing it with other drugs making it 10 times worse. If you’re gonna take drugs, take it responsibly, research before you take it and space out your doses
    *recreational dose

  11. God xanax valium and klonopin TASTE LIKE SHIIIIT!!! Makes me wanna yak when I see people just throw em in their mouth a chew em up 😯

  12. See I get diazepam is addictive but the thing us it prescribed for Anxiety and if it helps people to live a comfortable life then let them have it provided its controlled. Diazepam withdrawal is hell its evil. But I dont hear no mention of maybe some people should stay on them because there too dangerous to come off. Kinda annoying that it's only looked at as the negative affects it has on people. Because it helps me in my every day life

  13. Why do we have to watch things like this. ? It's heartbreaking. These people have a choice, but they choose to take the wrong path. What's the point in the government setting up help services, when these people turn their noses up at any available support. I spent 10 years drinking 3litres of neat vodka a day. When it all went tits up, I welcomed the help with open arms.

  14. Our v’s in us had a v cut out of them. I remember in 85 I was 16 and went to a bikers house to get some and he gave me a zip lock bag full of them. It looked like a blue pillow. I’m glad I didn’t like the feeling of v’s

  15. If a relatively normal or successful person went to a life coach or a counsellor they would be asked questions like "if you could do anything tomorrow what would you do?" or "describe your perfect day" or "what makes you happier than anything else"? People who are addicts do need to stop taking drugs but just taking drugs away from them isn't going to solve the problem. Like everyone else they need help and guidance to find whatever it is they really love and they are most passionate about. Just focussing on the problem will not bring about a solution.

  16. The big problem is that its virtually impossible for addicts to find work so it's very difficult for them to get even the most basic sense of satisfaction self worth and freedom that most of us enjoy. I don't see why they can't set up organisations which are initially subsidised by the government, where basic products are made, anything that requires non-skilled labour that anyone can learn to do and they only hire the people who have social issues like these. Not all of them but many of them will soon start to get the basic concept of getting out what you put in when they do work and they are rewarded with the feeling of pride satisfaction and money so they can enjoy the liberties of society. Some will go on to become managers and learn new skills, bond with other people and do the things that all of us do. The way society is now there are so many who, who for many different reasons are below the bottom rung of society and they just need assistance to get on the first rung. Whatever the organisation produces they can sell it so they are self-sufficient and profits can be reinvested into growing the organisation. Why hasn't anyone from the government even tried this?

  17. I'm Scottish and the problems getting worse a sell then to feed ma own habit and its all the old grannies and housewifes that buy them

  18. So proud of the guy that was interviewing him really took the time to sit and speak and make sure he was ok..from a person who struggled wa addiction for 20 years. Sad to see the young lad killing him self😔.

  19. I gasped he took all the pills at once I thought he would take one I hope some how he can get help I hope aj stays around the interviewer is a good soul 🙏

  20. My brother just lost his life messing with shit like this . Take it from me your playing with your life taking this drug to excess. What has this country come to

  21. Absolutely heartbreaking watching this. My heart goes out to all the families and all the people out there losing a battle to drug addiction.

    Kia Kaha koutou (be strong all)
    Loves from New Zealand 💕

  22. They fkd up bringing out methadone in late 80s, where I'm from there must have been about a dozen heroin addicts back then, instead of giving it out supervised they gave them 500ml bottles home, so guess what they did? Yip sold it to young guys in the housing schemes like me, soon it washed round all the schemes in Ayr and surrounding ex mining villages like a tsunami, couldn't even guess how many people I've known who've died, trying to get real Valium is like getting hen's teeth, temazepam were also much sought after, know people been on methadone scripts for over 25 years, no lie!

  23. I really want to visit Scotland, it is my heritage, so I’ve been told. My last name is Gilmore. Of course my YouTube name isn’t my real name. But if there’s anyone out there. That knows of the last name Gilmore, there in Scotland, let me know, reply to this. Cheers

  24. I have and I take sometimes farmaceutical Diazepam (real thing)… It does not affect me if I do not take atleast 60mg, and I am not an addict.. Not even near addiction. Can not belive that people can get fcked up like this with Diazepam. Xanax for example, I have lots of that to, I do not even feel anything when I take the 2-3 strongest Xanax 10 mg SR tabs… No im not lying.. If anyone can explain this, please, feel free to write your oppinion. It is really really weird.. Once, I took a handfull of Diazepam, there was minimum 30 10mg pills in my hand AND I FELT NOTHING!!!!! Just talked a bit slower for 20 minutes…. wtf?!

  25. Levi is a piece of shit, takes valium spice methodone heroine and steals for his addition wouldn't be so sympathetic if it was your grandmothers handbag he stole

  26. If he’s taking 100 tablets a day he’d have to be VERY lucky to survive the withdrawals, they would be fuckin horrendous if not fatal.

  27. I respect how much the presenter looked after the man 💯💯 alot more respect than the others they often decide to hire.

  28. My heart breaks for Levi, you can clearly see and feel the goodness and kindness in him despite of what he's going through,I know you are scaping from something you think you can't face,bro I hope you'll get all the help you need.and for the presenter thank you for being so passionate bro,much love from the Philippines ❤️

  29. I only came here because i am curious to know what the hell this is pill is. My doctor prescribed me a packet of diazepam few days ago due to A SEVERE LOWER BACK NERVE PAIN. i never smoke drugs, im young fit and healthy. I pulled my muscle just from kicking a simple ball and before you knew it, i was on the floor on my knees gasping for air thats how sharp the pain was on my lower spine. since having two diazapam a day, i noticed it puts me to sleep within 10 minutes. But why these people are addicted to this shit is strange. It doesn’t do nothing than put you to sleep. I live in London btw.

  30. Used to be addicted to diazepam myself during my 20's until it was banned by the government…I never took that much, but the urge to take it was very strong…glad I'm off any drug !

  31. This man is a true Valium abuser. He locks himself up to prevent himself behind bars for unwarranted decisions. I been cleaned for 15 years. Taking 20 to 30 pills a day when there are supplies.

  32. Levi is a sad character, not a bad boy a lost boy. The single mother generation. Not blaming single mothers but every boy needs a dad to be there and guide them, to give advice when its asked for and just spend that special time with each other.

  33. I took 7 one night while drinking heavily and was in slow motion for 3 days hahaha. Always had some with me for around 5 years but generally only took 1 or 2 on days when I felt anxious. Haven't had any for 2 years now and after watching this will keep it that way.

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