Drug addict Michael, right, is preparing to inject cocaine in a small wooded area used by addicts to take drugs near Glasgow. AFP / ANDY BUCHANAN
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Gary Kelly and Bruce Munro, reforming drug users from Glasgow, count themselves lucky.Trainspotting generationGlasgow, Scotland's biggest city, is the epicenter of a substance abuse crisis, which saw an unprecedented 1,187 drug-related deaths last year across the nation of 5.4 million people, according to the National Records of Scotland office, which said the rate was the EU's highest.The Scottish rates, which have nearly doubled over four years, appear on a par with the United States, where the level of deaths from opioids has been declared a public health emergency.More than two decades on, the drug death rates are being fuelled by a so-called Trainspotting generation, who began predominantly using heroin in the '80s and '90s.Heroin and synthetic opioids like methadone, codeine and oxycodone were involved in 86 percent of the 2018 fatalities.The dangers are compounded by opioid users in Glasgow also increasingly injecting cocaine sold in small quantities as the best way of getting a quick high, heightening the risks of lethal overdoses and needle sharing.Deaths involving cocaine have increased 658 percent in Scotland since 2008 -- more than any other drug -- while Glasgow has seen Britain's worst outbreak of HIV in decades, city health officials say.
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