A man who wrote a book about his experiences as a drug user today told how he hopes to open a rehabilitation and support centre in Aberdeen.
Stephen Smith, 75, lived in shop doorways on the streets of Aberdeen 50 years ago while addicted to drugs.
He returned to the city in 1997 to film a documentary with the BBC, in which he lived on streets for 20 days.
He now plans to return to Aberdeen again this year, to look at opening a centre – which he would call Newstart, and film an updated documentary.
Stephen, who lives in Stockport, said: “Homeless and chronically addicted to amphetamine, for somewhere to sleep and with no ticket, I would board trains, not knowing or caring where the train was going. That’s how I finished up on the streets of Aberdeen.
“People are not born on park benches and railway stations.
“They end up there because they are addicted to drugs and homeless. Everyone has their own individual story.”
The Newstart centre would take people in and carry out a review process to assess their needs.
It would also look at crime associated with drug use and aim to tackle the causes of why people offend.
The centre is expected to cost around £500,000, with Stephen saying £100,000 in funding has already been secured.
Stephen said: “I really believe that the centre could be open in six months to a year.
“Ex-offenders must be enthused, spoken to in the streets, courts and prisons, offering them a new start.
“Newstart is a hands-on approach to win the respect of the young criminal fraternity, coercing them to visit our centres to meet other kids who have turned their lives around.”
Stephen is also looking for people who have issues with drugs or alcohol to appear in his upcoming documentary.
He hopes he will take to the streets in August or September to begin filming, which will involve speaking to people who have had problems with drugs or alcohol or are on the streets.