By Kirsten Horsburgh

When the scale of drug-related deaths in Scotland is revealed for 2018 it is expected that over 1000 people will have lost their lives to accidental and preventable overdoses in that year alone. Utterly appalling.

Over Christmas I sent messages to a couple of people who I worked with for many years when I was their ‘Community Addictions Nurse’. I think about them a lot and have no doubt that if they were not in treatment they may be dead and it reminds me of some of the tactics I employed to ensure they remained in treatment…

It’s safe to say they weren’t the most reliable attendees to my NHS style clinic appointments, which often resulted in me texting, phoning, turning up at doorsteps, knocking on windows, shouting through letterboxes, chauffeuring to chemists and doctors appointments and even dog-sitting at one point to encourage one of them to be admitted to hospital who wouldn’t have gone otherwise (probably not allowed but sue me).