One Man's Story of Addiction and Recovery

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Published in The New York Times yesterday, “Lost in an Abyss of Drugs, and Entangled by Poverty” follows a local Argentinian fighting for survival in the Buenos Aires shantytown Ciudad Oculta. Pablo Eche has returned home from yet another stint in drug rehab, battling his addiction to paco. Although rather uncommon and unknown in North America, paco is the highly-addictive smokable drug currently laying siege on Argentine.

Paco is made of residual cocaine, averaging a mere 10% according to experts, mixed with such solvents as kerosene or rat poisoning. Nerve and brain cells, according to doctors interviewed by The NY Times, start to die almost immediately following use. The drug is also a powerful appetite suppressant, many addicts literally dying of starvation. The vast majority of discovered operations, according to Argentinian officials, are home-based and family-run, cooked up in local kitchens. Paco has a street value of about $1.30 a dose.

As the drug is so new, no clear, successful treatment has been established.

The story of Pablo Eche, although set in a far-off impoverished country and centering around a relatively unknown substance, is the story of drug addicts everywhere. His is the face of depression, isolation, and drug addiction.

“This is what keeps me company now. [Paco] doesn’t demand anything of me. It doesn’t promise me anything, nothing at all.” Mr. Eche told The NY Times.

These are universal feelings echoed throughout the sobriety community. This is the lure of drugs and alcohol. This is at the core of fighting addiction.

In times of depression and darkness, what do you tell yourself to keep you on your path to sobriety?

Photos credit: Drugs seized in Argentinian raid; Pablo Eche. The New York Times.

One Man's Story of Addiction and Recovery