UK Heroin Misery Of The ‘Trainspotting’ Generation



By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews

Trainspotting was a low budget movie made in my home town Edinburgh, Scotland. Written by a lad I have met through some football mates,Irvine WelshI knew some of the cast and it will go down as a cult movie for all of time. Ewan McGregor as Mark “Rent Boy” Renton, Ewen Bremner as Daniel “Spud” Murphy, Jonny Lee Miller as Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson, Robert Carlyle as Francis “Franco” Begbie and Kevin McKidd as Tommy MacKenzie. I have shared my story of my “Trainspotting youth” in the hope kids don’t open that door or walk that path

A quote I know myself, you have to have lived 'THAT LIFE' to get it.

A quote I know myself, you have to have lived ‘THAT LIFE’ to get it. (PUFF = Life)

You will know Ewan McGregor from the new Star Wars series of movies, Ewan I have met many times before he got famous, he is from Dundee but spent much time in acting classes here in Edinburgh starring in a few movies, but this made him as an actor, a fame all of the above got in Hollywood, this movie just should not have made as many millions as it did. It cost £2,000,000 Million to make ($3,100,000 Million Dollars) At the box office it brought in a whopping £45,000,000 ($72,000,000) and millions in Video/DVD/Blue ray sales.

Scene from Trainspotting

Scene from Trainspotting, this was the movie, nothing to do with trains

This movie was about Heroin in a bad place in my city. Many said it glorified Heroin, for me it showed the dangers. I was part of the “Heroin Generation” and am NOT PROUD to say I dabbled in drugs I should not have. I am a grown man now with 4 kids, these days are gone. This movie for me was a wakeup call, interesting to know what it did for others.


Trainspotting, Renton went cold turkey, just stopped

Heroin so dangerous that one hit and you are addicted there and then. Many people stupidly think if you smoke weed you will turn to Heroin. It’s like saying if you have one glass of wine you will end up an Alcoholic. A small % turn to Heroin, many never smoked weed. But society is backwards. Someone like me can’t smoke a joint to relax my pain, but people can get drunk, fight, drink every night and fight, kids can get drunk, go up town and fight, spread STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) Break windows and it costs tax makers a lot, some even, like me, are on hard drugs not through choice, but through necessity. We must define drugs and alcohol with logic before we cast stones

Begbie, we all know a "Begbie" Some said I was a "Begbie" I don't know

Begbie, we all know a “Begbie” Some said I was a “Begbie” I don’t know




Pictures of Rachel Whitear's body were used in a drug education video. This is real, Rachel OD'd, over dosed

Pictures of Rachel Whitear’s body were used in a drug education video. This is real, Rachel OD’d, over dosed, she is a statistic now

Much of what you will read here is England and Wales, Scotland has the same sadly. The number of adults seeking treatment for heroin and crack cocaine addiction in England has more than doubled in 10 years, new figures have revealed. While the total number of heroin and crack cocaine addicts has fallen below 300,000 for the first time since estimates began, there is a generation still hooked – the so-called Trainspotting generation.

The disaffected, heroin-addicted young people immortalised in Irvine Welsh’s bestselling novel are getting older. More than a third of the total population of adults in treatment centres are aged 40 or over, according to Public Health England. Many started using heroin in the epidemics of the 1980s and 1990s when good-quality, cheap opiate flooded the inner cities.

Thankfully I hated needles. I used to hang with 20 mates, 2 of us are doing well, 3 in jail, rest are dead. My old friends

Thankfully I hated needles. I used to hang with 20 mates, 2 of us are doing well, 3 in jail, rest are dead. My old friends

But as they enter old age there are warnings that dwindling health and dependence on heroin could place an increased burden on the National Health Service. On the ageing generation of addicts, Louise Ford, deputy manager at the Smithfield Detox Centre in Manchester, told Sky News: “For many people of this age group there is a sense of ‘now or never’ in finally getting the treatment they need.

“For the over-40s it could be redundancy, bereavement or failing health that finally prompts them to come in for help. The treatment is not easy and many relapse.” For those who have not sought treatment, life is a cycle of “scoring” heroin and finding the money to pay for it. Homeless Paul, 42, has been taking heroin since he was 17-years-old. His partner Jill, 39, was introduced to the drug at the age of 14. They take heroin in the back streets of Manchester’s city centre.

"Chasing the dragon" No needle. Edinburgh was once Europe's Heroin capital, not any more

“Chasing the dragon” No needle. Edinburgh was once Europe’s Heroin capital, not any more

He said: “I had a good life, what you’d call an average life, a car, a flat. I got laid off last year. I had never been out of work before. “Now I wake up, go and score, go and take it, go and find a pitch and start raising money again to score again and that goes on and on. “If I don’t get help now I’ll still be doing this into my 50s and 60s and I don’t want that. Heroin just makes you feel bad when you don’t have it. It doesn’t make you feel good anymore.”



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10 responses

  1. Shaun , that was very informative . Trainspotting was an unforgettable film for me. I will especially remember the scene with the baby . The rural area near where we live has a herion problem. . Near where my daughter and her family live. A number of deaths. Very sad as they were in their early twenties. I am. Glad Edinburg chose life !


    • There is still a heroin problem here, but there is in Glasgow, Manchester, London, Lisbon everywhere has it. The fact Edinburgh had this culture and with Aids rife when I was part of this culture (Not Heroin) of drugs and raves. It can be very easy to take one hit of Heroin and stay on it till it kills you, as it will. The most addictive drug on Earth Heroin…
      So, the problem is still here, the education has changed, we look for it now. And when we see it, re put it into rehab and hope a person walks back out and stays clean..


      Liked by 1 person

      • It is an international problem even raising its insidious head in rural New York. I think that “Trainspotting ” would be required viewing in High School. I think we all need to face facts and not pretend it couldn’t happen here or there or anywhere!


      • There are programs here where kids have to meet parents of kids killed by drunk drivers and also visit jails to try and deter these behaviors by being faced with the consequences of poor decisions. Don’t know how successful they are though. Kids feel indestructible and that things won’t happen to them!


      • I took your advice, Shaun and looked. You are right that the number has increased dramatically each year. I told you it is rampant in the rural areas around where we live in Upstate New York. Can only imagine in the cities!


      • I know, so sad also. The education system and Government don’t help. People are just cast to the side like they are nothing.
        I am sure there are support groups there as there is here in Scotland. Most of them are free and ex Addicts trying to help people stuck on it and unable to come off it. But there are Government programmes. They give many Methadone and some do get clean. Others, lose cause, they will be that person for life. Heroin, strange as it seems, is their only way of feeling human. Strange but true…

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is ever so tragic. . . . the throw away people. Things are so complicated about choices and whose responsibility people’ lives are. I for one don’t want to live in a country where the government makes all the decisions, but sadly I see it happening without people really knowing it is.


      • You are right Anne..The USA, Obama signs executive orders in this sleep and every time he does the US constitution dies a little more..
        And the people of the USA go about life like it’s normal..One one level I wish I could do that. Live and not know what I do, you know?
        But I have to know. I need to open my mind..


        Liked by 1 person