Greece is undergoing a tough period during which the consequences are particularly severe for the most vulnerable social groups, such as people with mental health problems in general, and particularly those who suffer from drug abuse and addiction.
The country’s austerity measures have eviscerated social welfare programs and curbed access to drug treatment. As a result, the deaths of homeless & drug addicts have risen, especially in the centre of Athens, where a new kind of substance, known as "shisha" is becoming increasingly popular.
This hallucinogenic drug, also known as "cocaine of the poor", is being produced in makeshift laboratories around Athens and sold for 2-3 euros per fix. Its basic components are car battery liquids, bleach and a type of crystalline methamphetamine, making it extremely dangerous. As reported by the Greek Monitoring Centre for Drugs ((EKTEPN), shisha users smoke and, more often, shoot up the drug, which might be the reason for the 8 times higher HIV cases since 2011, as mentioned by the Head of Research Department of KETHEA.
A young drug user is sleeping, while a woman waits for a cab to pick her up, in Thissio.
Young drug user, tripping at the entrance of an apartment building, Exarchia.
Old homeless drug user, near Ermou Street.
Immigrant, resting on the door steps of a neoclasical house, in Tositsa Street, Exarchia.
Man, seconds before shooting up heroin, at a rather busy street in Exarchia district.
Open drug use has become rampant among street people, especially around Omonia Square.
Drug addict, "tripping" at a bus station, in Klafthmonos Square.
Drug addict, sleeping on a bench, outside the Roman Forum.
Young female drug addict lying down on the staircase of a sealed entrance of the National Technical University, Exarchia.
" Un-Erotic shop. Welcome to the Dark Side", in the background. In the foreground, a man (beggar) is falling asleep on a street rail in Benaki Street, under the influence of uknown substance.
" I'm sick and I take medication. Ηelp me. Thanks.". Immigrant in a "sleeping upright" state, Stadiou Street.
Immigrant "tripping" in Solomou Street, Exarchia.
Drug addict sleeping on a concrete tree box, Exarchia.
© Mariana Bisti
Do not reproduce without my expressed written consent.