NEDAC and Local News

Free telephone counselling available for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Scotland.

Health in Mind have launched a unique telephone counselling service to support male survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Scotland. Known as Trauma Counselling Line Scotland, this is a free and fully confidential service funded by SurvivorScotland. It is intended to help male survivors of such abuse to move on with their lives.

The telephone line is staffed by qualified, experienced counsellors. Team Leader Eileen Hone explained the need for this service:
"It's a counselling service available over the phone, it's free and men can access it anywhere in Scotland. This has not been available before, there's nothing else filling this need."

The service has only been up and running for one week and has already been very well received, with one caller saying "I was helped very quickly, I've never had this standard of service before."

Calls to the counselling line can be made during the following times:

Monday - Wednesday 5pm - 7pm
Thursday and Friday 11am - 2pm

Call free on 08088 020406

A message can be left at all other times and the call will be returned. Counselling sessions will be offered at a time suitable to the caller.

Health in Mind is an organisational member of BACP and The Helpline Association.

Background information on Health in Mind
Health in Mind is a charity promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in Scotland. With a team of professional and trusted support staff and committed volunteers, they work in partnership to deliver a unique mix of services and training.

For more information please visit their website


Your access to BURST, Blue and Blue Stuff has changed.

You can no longer buy ethylphenidate legally.
Ethylphenidate, and four similar compounds, will be controlled substances as of midnight on Friday 10 April. This means it will be illegal to make or sell ethylphenidate based drugs, but not illegal to possess ethylphenidate.Please take care not to binge on your current supply.


If you continue to use ethylphenidate based substances:

o As the compounds are illegal you may not be able to buy from your usual source
o Other dealers may start selling ethylphenidate
o Do you know what it is mixed with?
o Do you know how strong it is?
o Try not to inject - you can swallow (bomb) it
o If you inject, use clean works every time
o Get help if you or a friend feels unwell.

If you go back to using heroin, instead of ethylphenidate
based substances:

o Your tolerance is likely to have dropped
o Try not to take the same dose you used to
o Your body might not be able to deal with heroin in the same way
o Try not to inject
o If you inject, use clean works every time
o Do you or a friend have naloxone near by?
o Get help if you or a friend feel unwell.

If you start using heroin:

o Take a small dose first - you don't know how your body is going to react
o Preparing heroin is different from preparing ethylphenidate based drugs
o You will still use clean works every time and filter every time
o But, you need to use Vit C/Citric
to dissolve the drug and you need to heat it
o Do you or a friend have naloxone near by?
o Get help if you or a friend feels unwell.

If you start using a different 'legal' NPS or stimulant

o Have you used this before?
o Do you know how you will react?
o Start by using a small dose
o Try not to inject - you can swallow (bomb) or snort
o If you inject, use clean works every time
o Get help if you or a friend feel unwell
If you get the rattles, feel unwell, go into withdrawal: (Withdrawal symptoms include hallucinations, seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea, pain, lack of appetite.) GET HELP

Help is available at:

o Spittal Street Clinic - 0131 537 8300
o Your GP/ Access Practice
o NHS 24 Phone - 111

There are no substitute drugs, like methadone, for ethylphenidate.


Botulism Information for Injectors

Cases of botulism have been identified across Central Scotland. Botulism is caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can be found in soil, dust and river or sea sediments. It can, and does, find its way into heroin also. The bacterium itself is not harmful, but it can produce highly poisonous toxins. These toxins attack the nervous system and can be fatal. Injectors are most at risk if they:
Inject into muscle - Intramuscular
Inject under the skin - Subcutaneous
Have a missed hit (accidentally miss a vein and inject the solution into
This is because 'non-intravenous' injecting provides a better environment for the bacterium C. botulinum to produce toxins. Injectors often use terms like 'muscle or skin popping' this would be classed as high risk injecting.
Using clean needles and paraphernalia will NOT prevent wound botulism. It is the heroin itself that is likely to be infected.

Harm Reduction advice -
Smoking heroin or injecting directly into a vein may reduce the risk of
botulism, although not using heroin at all is by far the best course of action

Symptoms often begin with:
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty in swallowing and speaking
- There may be inflammation at the injection site
- If the condition is not treated quickly the disease can progress to:
- Paralysis that can affect the arms, legs and muscles that control breathing.

If you experience any of these symptoms then seek medical attention immediately.

If you need any information and advice on safer injecting and harm reduction contact one of the duty workers at NEDAC.


Drug Related news

'Drinking causes damage you can't see' new NHS campaign

The NHS have launched the 'Drinking causes damage you can't see' campaign. A new website at offers a range of tools and information to help assess and cut down harmful drinking.

The campaign, which includes two TV ads, builds on the previous units campaign and aims to raise awareness of the hidden health harm that can be caused by regularly drinking too much. An information pack is available to the public, and a stakeholder resource site will be making a range of materials and resources available to help professionals deliver advice and brief interventions.



From Drug Addict to up and coming Film Maker

source Caledonian Mercury

Just seven short years ago, Garry Fraser was a mess. Addicted to heroin and crack cocaine, he had watched many of his friends die and had himself served a jail sentence for drug dealing.

Now, aged 31, the lad from the north Edinburgh scheme of Muirhouse – real Trainspotting land – is a poster boy for the difference that education and social interventions can make. The man who says he had no formal schooling after the age of 11 now has an HND in film-making; he even won the Student Outstanding Achievement Award at Edinburgh’s Telford College.

He has rubbed shoulders with the likes of housing and communities minister Alex Neil at a celebration of social entrepreneurs. He has been consulted on national drug policy. His film on the dangers of drugs for ex-cons is shown as a warning to prisoners before they are released. And next month he will see his second short film shown at The Filmhouse in Edinburgh.

So what made the change?

It might sound a cliché, but it was the birth of his son which turned it all round. ‘It was a moment of realisation,’ he says. ‘When I was growing up, I never had a dad. Once Garry Jay was born, once I had my first responsibility, I didn’t want him to be sitting in Barlinnie or Saughton [prisons] waiting to see me. I didn’t want that for my kid.’

Like so many others of his generation, Garry didn’t have much of a chance when he was born in Muirhouse. Living in care from the age of eight, he spent his time moving from secure unit to secure unit. So why was he in secure units? “I kept running away,” he says, adding that he was “locked up with murderers and rapists from the age of 11?.

“Most people have photos from their childhood, I had care files; I didn’t really know any different.”

Drugs were easy to come by in Muirhouse, and Garry certainly didn’t avoid them. Not surprisingly, it led to prison – although perhaps not as often or as long as it might have been, he implies. “I’ve only done one three-month stretch,” he says, matter-of-factly.

Perhaps partly spurred on by the drug-related deaths of several friends, Garry started going to Transition, a project aimed at getting substance misusers and other excluded people into education and employment. “They got me into writing poetry again, and I found out I like writing stories,” he says. Through this project, he won his way on to the Telford College HND Creative Industries Television course, and realised he had found his metier. “I was in the editing suite all day, every day – I loved it,” he says simply.

His first short film, Tolerance (above), shot as part of his course tells the story of Shaun, a young man leaving prison and going back to his old life on a grim Edinburgh housing estate. Within a very short time, he has overdosed on the heroin substitute methadone. The final scenes show him dying or dead, while the paramedic on the doorstep is not allowed to go to his help because the police have yet to arrive.

It’s a hard-hitting, gritty film (with lots of bad language), but it’s one that grabbed attention, including from the Scottish film industry, which Garry says has been hugely supportive.

The Scottish Prison Service was also interested in the film – so much so, that they commissioned Garry to edit a shorter version of it, to be shown to prisoners before they are released. The film’s central message is that a worryingly high proportion of people die of drug overdoses when they leave prison – the reason being that drugs in prison are less pure, so ex-prisoners have a lowered tolerance to them. “I’ve been told that the film is as close as you can get to watching someone overdose,” says Garry.

That film was his first to be screened at The Filmhouse, in 2008. The second, When 2 Worlds Collide, will be shown there at the end of March, as part of the Pilton Video Streetwise Films project. Again, this features a lad from the wrong side of the tracks (a north Edinburgh housing estate) who falls in love with a girl from leafy Cramond, on the outskirts of the capital.

“It’s a tale of two cities, but somebody else had taken that title,” he smiles. “But, as a film-maker, I love that contrast about Edinburgh – you can walk along the one road and, on the one hand, you can see squalor and deprivation, and the other there’s somewhere like Cramond.”

For his next film, he is back in Muirhouse, where he is researching a documentary-style feature about knife culture, drug misuse and HIV/Aids.

It’s a far cry from his life now, however. He has moved out of Edinburgh to the countryside, and, at the end of the day, goes home to his fiancée, Angela, his son and his five-year-old daughter, Billie. The couple are expecting a third child this year.

He is in no doubt that projects which helped him get into education have turned his life around, and has been keen to give something back. He uses local kids as runners and actors in his films and intends to carry on doing so as he builds up his business.

It was partly this determination to help others in the same situation as himself which persuaded Firstport, Scotland’s social enterprise support organisation, to give him their maximum start-up award of £5,000. But the Edinburgh-based organisation went a step further and employed him to make a DVD to celebrate their award-winners. The resulting footage was shown at the event attended by Alex Neil last Tuesday.

Karen McGregor, fund manager with Firstport, says: ‘We decided to put our money where our mouth is and, instead of going out to a company, we asked one of our award winners to make the DVD. It’s raw and it’s powerful and really shows what social enterprise can do.

“Garry is one of our success stories. Statistically, he shouldn’t be where he is now – he should be back in prison or on drugs. But he’s really turned his life around and that’s brilliant.”


To view the film Tolerance click here



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