“greek” Shisha vs “argentinian” Paco, two sides of the same coin


(photo: Valerio Bispuri)

Reading the recent Guardian article about the turn of greek addicts to the cheap and highly addictive and extremely dangerous Shisha drug (a variant of crystal meth mixed frequently with battery fluids, engine oil etc) I couldn’t help making the connection to Argentina (and Latin America in general) where the use of Paco has been vastly increased in the years following the capitalistic crisis. Paco is a byproduct of the cocaine refinement process, basically whatever is left, mixed with chemicals such as sulphuric acid, kerosene, glue and rat poison.

Guardian had an article in 2010 about the 10-pesos-worth drug which is turning Argentina’s slum children into the living dead. The similarities between the two articles, the stories of the addicts and the population in countries that are more than 10000 km apart, are devastating. What is common in both countries is a capitalistic system which drives more and more young people to unemployment, crashed dreams, poverty, despair and “solutions” covered with white powder or sinked in shots. The systemic crisis of today just makes the situation worse and gives rise to cheap and even more dangerous drugs like shisha or paco.

You can guess which is the only way out.

You can also check a shocking photostory about the increasing use of drugs in the streets of Athens  published in Huffingtonpost earlier this year, two photostories about paco in Argentina, from NYTimes and Vice.com as well as a short documentary: