1,264 people died of drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2019, according to figures released by the National Records of Scotland. Peter Krykant (pictured below), an activist campaigning to make overdose prevention centres legal in Scotland, talking to Libby Brooks in The Guardian, called these figures from Scotland’s drugs crisis, “absolutely devastating.”
In Springburn, Reverend Brian Casey leads prayers outside his church at a small but too regular ceremony. Accompanied by former and recovering addicts, family and friends, wooden crosses are placed in the ground outside Springburn Parish Church as a small garden or remembrance, in memory of those who have lost their lives in Scotland’s drug crisis and abuse epidemic. In February 2020, when these images were taken, two hundred wooden crosses were planted, and the participants are currently planting 100 per month, with over 800 planted before Christmas 2020.
Down in Glasgow’s city centre, Peter Krykant, himself a former addict, takes his safe consumption van (an overdose prevention service), funded by donations, to a side street in the city’s Trongate area. There, he spends his days, offering a safe space for local addicts to inject their drugs, a place they can be looked after should they overdose. Lives have already been saved by the actions of himself and volunteers, within his safe consumption facility, the first of its type in Scotland. The van pictured here was his first safe consumption van, now it has been upgraded through donations, and still, four days per week, offers a clean, safe environment for drug users.
We hope you have enjoyed the above article and images. Since forming in 2012 all the work featured on this site, and the work undertaken to enable it, has been free of charge. Now, times are changing. To continue we feel we need to ask for your support, to help us manage our time and energies, and to continue sharing photography we care about. Please visit our Patreon page and consider being a supporter.
Thank you - Jeremy, Sophie, Colin.