Checking in to Europe’s largest illegal drugs supermarket

With the help of a priest, we search for a new class of east European addicts who steal for heroin in Madrid’s Cañada Real by Michael Bird, Vlad Odobescu and Feliciano Tisera. Illustrations by Sorina Vazelina. Published in The Black Sea   Madrid’s underground station of Embajadores is a crowded junction with a fountain gushing […]

Crimea – where Russia’s war on drugs has deadly consequences

Up to 100 recovering drug users have died in Crimea since Russia seized the Ukrainian peninsular and banned their medication A feature published in The Black Sea, The Influence (USA) and Matters of Substance (NZ) magazines   Surrounded by seaside resorts, Crimea has been both a magnet for holidaymakers and drug users (picture copyright: Petrut Calinescu)   “I had to abandon home, […]

How Hare Krishna and Therapy Saved Me from Drugs in Tiraspol

Breaking free of crime and opiate addiction in Moldova’s frozen conflict zone of Transnistria needed a cocktail of spiritual and psychological aid for ex-fighter Yuri – a feature published in The Black Sea A former amateur boxer and soldier, 42 year-old Yuri, is reminiscing about his veins. Once they were raised and prominent, like those of a […]

Krokodil sinks teeth into persecuted Georgian drug community

Injectable codeine-based drug Krokodil is raging across Georgia – an exclusive investigation and photo-gallery of users as they cook the killer mix at home, published in The Black Sea and in Business Insider  (USA), Andrei Rylkov Foundation (Russia), Druglink (UK in February 2014) and Szuperblog (Hungary). Necessary ingredients for Krokodil: including drainage cleaner Krot (Mole) Trees are poised to blossom along rows of […]

Smack in the USSR: how injecting drugs in the Soviet Union was socializing

Two nations, countless wars, two revolutions and three decades of drug addiction – recovering user Eka reveals her legacy of opiate abuse from the USSR to today –  a story from Tbilisi. Georgia, published on The Black Sea website  “Nobody could imagine a woman injecting drugs – that was the best mask for me,” says […]

Deadly Moldovan drug causes addicts to lose jaws

Drug users in Moldova are losing their jaws to fatal intoxicant Vint, an injectable cocktail extracted from cold-and-flu relief tablets. An investigation published on new in-depth reporting website The Black Sea –    “You have to keep moving,” says 28 year-old Dmitri Ivko, an engineering graduate in Chisinau, Moldova. “You have a lot of […]

Mass use of legal highs causes HIV rise in Romania

A feature on the rise in HIV in Romania among drug users published in UK charity Drugscope’s magazine Druglink in March/April 2013 In Romania, following a switch from heroin to legal highs among injecting drug users, new cases of HIV have boomed By Michael Bird Cristi is dressed in a baseball cap, with holes […]