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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February 2005, 14:37 GMT
Smack Alley
Illegal drugs are Britain's most lucrative vice. There are now thought to be over one million Class A drug users in the country. However, those taking the drugs are not just damaging themselves, they are affecting the communities around them too.

Anthony Gilmour
I am basically dead. Know what I mean. It's either sort yourself out or be dead within the next few years
Anthony Gilmour

In Smack Alley, Streets of Vice meets some of the people behind the statistics.

Hartington Street in Derby may look like any other street in Britain, but it is known to the locals as Smack Alley, and it has even been described by some as the worst street in the city. It has become a refuge for drug users taking substances, like heroin and cocaine.

Anthony Gilmour has been a heroin addict for 20 years and has been in and out of prison for most of his adult life. Despite being aware of the dangers, including the risk of overdose, the 38-year-old injects himself daily with heroin.

Tuesday 22 March 2005, 2305GMT, BBC One
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Anthony has tried seeking treatment, but he has found the process too slow and is slipping back into a life of crime to fund his habit.

However, the street's drug addicts do have someone to turn to. Josephine Rooney has lived there for 20 years and has witnessed the area slowly deteriorate. She is careful not to judge the addicts and is the only resident willing to help them.

She is leading the campaign to clean up the area and wants to shame the authorities into taking action. Josephine even writes to her local MP, Margaret Beckett, for help because she thinks the problem has got so bad.

Streets of Vice: Smack Alley was repeated on Tuesday, 29 March, 2005 at 2305 GMT on BBC One.

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03 Feb 05 |  Scotland
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16 Mar 04 |  West Yorkshire


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