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Twenty Five years ago Glasgow and central Scotland were in the grip of a drug epidemic which blighted communities, created a crime wave and generated a maelstrom of gang-related violence and murder.

There was one drug in particular that was at the heart of this chaos – temazepam. In the late 1980s and early 1990s temazepam was the most widely used street drug. Its sale and distribution proved very lucrative for criminal gangs and its use in combination with heroin lay behind a major rise in drug-related deaths in Glasgow and Edinburgh at the time.

One form of temazepam, “jellies”, carried with it its own sucker punch. “Jellies” consisted of gelatine capsules filled with temazepam in a gel form. The drug-taking community soon discovered that if these capsules were gently heated the temazepam gel liquefied. It could then be sucked out of the capsule and injected. Unfortunately, as it cooled in the blood vessel it solidified, blocking the vessel and cutting off the blood supply to the affected limb. The consequences for the taker were devastating – ulcers, abscesses, gangrene, limb loss or even death.

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Single Digital Issue May 2017
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iScot Magazine
May 2017

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