Detox or Die

Detox or Die

2003, Drugs  -   36 Comments
Ratings: 8.33/10 from 179 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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36 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Sharon Wilson

    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!!

  2. Jody

    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.

    1. Justin

      Hi me and my wife have been useing Heroin for 7 months and I’m losing everything and would like to show people how bad things can go down hill and how Precious life is

  3. Mark Gaboury

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

  4. Charina

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

  5. Samwise

    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?

    1. Donald

      Well for me I’d rather detox from dope or opioids this is where I’m at right now suboxone has been brutal to me let alone when I tried to come off it

  6. Penny

    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. ...

    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.

  8. Richard Neva

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

    1. David Graham Scott

      You know what Richard. I was angry at you for a moment and then I changed my mind when I read some of your other comments. You're obviously feeling down and depressed. I think it's a bad idea to watch the dark part of a film without seeing how it ends. That will only make you feel worse. I wish you well on your life journey and I do hope that things get better for you. I've been there too.

  9. jack straw

    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-

    1. aae

      25 years??? wow.

  10. Eric Lawson

    Interesting Video Well done !!!

  11. Carla Rignanesi Leblanc

    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!!

    1. Eric

      I was on Dilaudid for my back pain , I cut it cold turkey , I was taking about 30 mg a day !

      I was able to cut it ouot entirely and you should be able also my friend !

  12. Richard Neva

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

    1. David Graham Scott

      You ever use that lump of cheese between your ears to read the review before viewing a film? Of course it's going to have some desperation in it but if you'd got to the end you might have been enlightened.

  13. richie086

    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?

    1. David Graham Scott

      Heard of some success stories with other drugs but seems to work best for opiates. Ayahuasca may help with speed/cocaine

  14. David Graham Scott

    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.

    DGS x

    1. sarahjaneerickson

      Thank you for this. Been off since 2004, sometimes when I'm craving I wish that I had video of myself to look back on those times so I could see the madness firsthand. This helps.

    2. David Graham Scott

      I understand and I really do think the filming was almost like a psychotherapy for me. Video diaries can be very healing I believe.
      All the best to you.
      DGS x

  15. His Forever

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

  16. Highlander

    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

    1. bringmeredwine

      Two people very close to me are recovering from oxycodone addictions. It has been at least five years.
      One takes Soboxine, the other Methadone.
      They are moody, tired and miserable if they deviate from their scheduled doses.
      They cannot taper off these drugs, and swear they have tried but it makes them too sick to function.
      Their doctors and drug counsellors don't encourage them to get off them.
      Methadone is free, while the Soboxine is very expensive and is supposed to be a better alternative.
      All I see is a different, miserable addiction.
      I wish they would enter a detox and try to put the entire nightmare behind them. They are young and have their entire lives ahead of them.
      But first they would have to find such a program, perhaps pay a whack of money, and miss days of work.
      So far there is no sign from either of them of taking any action on their own to help themselves.
      They swear they will, but never do.
      Its really awful to watch the people I love suffer, but I cannot make them do anything about it.
      I would be horrified if they went the same route as David, locked away in a little apartment with a guy named Edward, and no defibulator in sight. But what are the alternatives if they can't or won't go cold turkey?

    2. Lorraine

      it mainly comes down to the withdrawal one goes through when getting off opiates. I guarantee if there was no w/d, they'd be in a treatment center right now. It is impossible to understanhd opiate addiction unless you've gone through it. It is hell. Best of luck to your family. xx

    3. bringmeredwine

      We're sure going need it!
      Thank you for kind words.

    4. dmxi

      ....but still alcohol with-draw'l is worse.seen'it,done it...& got the t-shirt!

    5. Candace Sturtevant

      That medicine called Soboxone sounds like a miserable medication, from what I just read about it. It's a opioid narcotic and Narcan, which reverses the effects of narcotics. You didn't say why they were initially on Oxycodone, but if it was for pain, I suggest the person on the Soboxone, be changed to methadone. Then every two weeks both of them have the dose of methadone cut in half until they are off of it; while they take Cymbalta for chronic pain, which is approved for that, and is an antidepressant. As well as, take Tramadol 50mg twice day, which is a non-narcotic pain reliever that works like a narcotic. The Cymbalta is taken once a day. They should build up to taking 30mg for 2 weeks, then going up to 60mg. I know people who are addicts want their opiates, but there comes a time to realize, maybe they are not the best drug for a druggie's problems. I have been a nurse for 25 years, and suffered from chronic back pain for 15 of those years. I am still in the Vicodin stage of opiates for my pain; while taking Oxycodone 5mg rarely, if I do work that just kills my back. I suggest to anyone, if you can tolerate it, stay with the Vicodin or Tylenol #3, and stay away from Oxycodone. You will build up some natural endorphins again, if you let go of the crutch.

    6. bringmeredwine

      Their use of Oxycodone was purely recreational, and ruined their lives.
      Thank you for your advice, I will definitely pass it on.

    7. bringmeredwine

      They shouldn't require the pain relievers you mentioned, but thanks any way for all your valuable information!

    8. A Nurse

      Candace- you cannot take Tramadol if you have an opiate addiction as it can potentiate withdrawl and induce craving. As a nurse, you should be well aware of that and stop trying to push other drugs! Clean for over 20 years and did it cold turkey. No crutches of methadone for me. Simply went to me-hab; got inside my head and made the decision to be clean.

    9. bringmeredwine

      Its not your fault you are stuck in the wonderful world of Methadone addiction.
      I wish your doctors didn't get you into this mess.
      I really hope you can somehow resolve this situation and enjoy a pain-free life.
      Best wishes.

  17. TheDanishViking

    Very good. I really hope he makes it.

    1. bringmeredwine

      Yeah, after all that!