This movie is based on the late 80s and beginning of the 90s, time when Edinburgh was the capital of Europe AIDS through heroin usage, as said by Andrew Macdonald. By that time (80s-90s) in Britain was full of heroin addicts and these years are known as the “heroin epidemic”. It is calculated that by the turn of the 1990s total users were being counted in the hundreds of thousands (Home office report). And at this point is where we find the main problem: how do we deal with such amount of heroin users, and the problems they create? This depends on the grade of addiction each person has. For example, if someone has just started with it, a group therapy should be enough. The real issue comes with the most difficult cases (most of them long-term users in their late 30s, 40s and even 50s. that are now more susceptible to overdoses after decades of physical and mental health conditions), which are now in a controversial situation because the Department of Health is prescribing pure heroine to these complicated patients. This is being criticized because it seems like a reprise of the tolerant “British system” of drug control that existed before 1971.
This practice of injecting a small amount of heroin has been proved to work in Switzerland, where the opening of heroin-assisted treatment clinics has reduced crime and the number of illegal drugs on the streets on Switzerland. The reason why is interesting to highlight these facts is simple: British Government, as every country’s Government, wants the best for its inhabitants, which in this case would be a country free of drug-related crime, free of drug use, and no more drug-related deaths. Sir Ian Gilmore among others, suggested that the right solution in order to achieve this was decriminalising illicit drugs use. Because, as he says in the Sun newspaper “there will always be hard drug users but instead of treating them as criminals, we should treat them as patients”. “Heroin addiction is an illness and we should treat it as such, instead of acting on a knee-jerk reaction and putting people in prison. ” But of course, everybody is aware of the characteristic British hypocritical attitude, and of course, and we can see it crystal clear in this case. As shown before, British Government wants a free-drug country, and the most effective solution to accomplish this would be decriminalising illicit drugs use. But instead of trying to modify the Law the Home Office has made it clear minister remain opposed to such ideas: “The government does not believe that decriminalisation is the right approach. Our priorities are clear; we want to reduce drug use, crack down on drug-related crime and disorder and help addicts come off drugs for good. ” So basically, instead of facing the music and actually seeing the problem which is in front of Government’s eyes, they’d rather ignore it.
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