Detox or Die

Detox or Die

2003, Drugs  -   36 Comments
Ratings: 8.33/10 from 180 users.

David Graham Scott was 23 when he and his wife Denise became heroin addicts. He was devoted to heroin like a convert to a new faith. It may sound weird but being a junkie gave him a sense of identity. He made experimental films about his needle fixation and the obsession with death increased his devotion to addictive drugs.

In 1988 after splitting up with Denise he moved to Glasgow where he thought he'll be able to put his heroin addiction behind him, but it wasn't that easy. He found medical help for his drug habits. A doctor supplied him with regular prescription for methadone linctus. This synthetic drug has been the government approved substitute for heroin since the '60s. He replaced an illegal drug addiction with a legal one.

From the mid '90s he worked as a projectionist and in his free time he started to make his own film about other heroin addicts in order to try to understand his own addiction. He was stabilized on methadone but still his friends were addicts. He met Dennis in 1990. He'd been a junkie in London back in the '60s. His son Chris was also a heroin addict. David spent most of his time with them on their tiny bed set.

One night and old pall DL turned up. He was fresh out of prison and he'd been starved for drugs for four months. He was desperate for a hit. Having injected heroin himself, David exactly knew what this craving was like, the need to escape reality. With his tolerance down, DL injected a cocktail of heroin and temazepam.

Junkies would do anything to make a little cash. DL was a comical character but he had a huge influence on the others. Soon he had them shoplifting with him. Bizarrely, heroin brought father and son closer together. Chris would often help his dad to shoot up at his neck since veins on his arms had collapsed.

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Sharon Wilson
1 year ago

Fascinating and honest. Thank you. I’m a yoga teacher / service designer about to start working in Dundee with addiction recovery. The humility you have shown in this footage is a sincere gift!! Gratitude!!

5 years ago

Too bad they don' t have something like that for benzo withdrawal. I have living with severe debilitating withdrawal symptoms for a year. Benzo hell.

Mark Gaboury
5 years ago

Pretty solid documentary. I hope he stayed off the dope.

6 years ago

I think it will be totally ducumentary if you guys put a substitle pls.

7 years ago

No Ibogaine here in the U.S? Yes Suboxone addictive. Company said it is only a little bit addictive. Not true. But easier taper is that true?

7 years ago

I was always interested in learning more about drug addiction, but far more now that I've been through that hell myself. It really is impossible to 'get' what opiate addiction is like unless you've experienced it. But I think if others had any idea of the horrible withdrawals and desperation and feeling trapped and self-loathing, they might not write us off as hopeless losers. Every situation is different. My husband was an IV heroin user most of his adult life, didn't work his methadone program properly, got busted and sent to residential treatment and has been a sober 12-step member for thirteen years. Knowing better, but taking too many prescribed pain meds so I could function at work, I got into Oxycodone and nearly lost my job and home. I've been on MMT for four months now, and am so happy to feel normal and living life again that sometimes I want to shout it to the world. Methadone took care of all withdrawal symptoms and cravings and even my chronic back pain. I'm so grateful to be on a program that works for me that I won't do anything to mess with my recovery! That's one reason methadone is so controversial; it can be very effective for chronic addiction but it has to be used very carefully. People who divert their doses or combine them with benzos, for instance, might not only cause overdose but also spoil the program's rep for those of us who are serious about getting help. I've been on Suboxone too, and it works, but my HMO only let me use it as a detoxing tool. After four relapses, they said it was methadone or nothing. Call it a crutch if you want, but it's letting me pick up my finances, work, relationships, and self-respect. Most people need help to beat active addiction; you don't will it away. Now I really want to see this documentary.

7 years ago

A Nurse- So you simply willed away your addiction one day and expect it to be as simple as just say no? I think you've let all your clean time get to your head to have that attitude.

Richard Neva
8 years ago

Not my cup of tea. To glorify a dirt bag is absurd!

jack straw
8 years ago

on mdone here in the states for 25 yrs. - no problems- -go 2 times a months to pick up- that ibogane scares me ,think Ill leave well enuff alone... a really good video though ,glad it all worked out for ya- -all the best-

Eric Lawson
8 years ago

Interesting Video Well done !!!

Carla Rignanesi Leblanc
9 years ago

Thank you very much for this documentary. I found it very interesting to hear your story. I am also a recovering addict - from Dilaudid, Morphine and OxyContin rather than heroin, but have also had to use methadone in order to get away from it ... i've been on methadone for 8 years and am beginning to feel as though i'll never be able to get away from it - but it's better to be on methadone than to be an active IV user again. I have tried to wean myself from it in the past only to find that when i get to a certain dose i feel sick day in and day out. My doctor says that there will likely come a time in my life where i feel physically, mentally and emotionally fit enough to wean from it. Thank you again for sharing your story!! I've often wanted to document my story somehow - I've thought of in writing - but I haven't taken the steps to do it so far. Maybe someday I will!!

Richard Neva
9 years ago

Desperate people bum me out. I could not watch all of this film for that reason.

9 years ago

David - Thank you so much for this doc. Glad to see you were able to kick your addiction. Any clue if ibogane works with any other drugs (methamphetamine) or does it only work for opiates?

David Graham Scott
9 years ago

Thanks for all the comments on my film!

If you want to speak to me then please add me on Facebook. I've just completed a follow-up documentary to this one. It's called Iboga Nights and it will be available to view quite soon.

I have some other docs on my Vimeo channel too. Just search my full name and you'll find various links.


His Forever
9 years ago

I wish him the best of luck. He worked too hard to get free to go back.

9 years ago

Good luck to stay clean. Thanks for sharing and I hope this short doc can in some way help others to quit their addiction . I take methadone for chronic back pain and it works better than anything else which has been offered . However , If I run out or try to cut down from prescribed dose , the withdrawal is dreadful. All the same symptoms as in the film , including suicidal thoughts. Methadone has allowed me to carry on working and for that I am very grateful, but it is a very powerful drug and perhaps not as well understood by those who prescribe as they might think? Any comments welcome

9 years ago

Very good. I really hope he makes it.