In the backyard of South Tel Aviv, in the area of the old central bus station, among the discarded junk, the excrement, the garbage and the people scattered on the ground, I met a teacher, a welder, a photographer, an injured soldier, and a ?plain 19 year old boy.?
When I managed to connect to them and open up a conversation, I discovered sad and hurt people - people who are simply waiting to spill out what is on their heart and to cry over their situation, people who are normal who went off the path and cannot find their way back, people who blame themselves as well as the entire world for their current state.
?We hurt ourselves because we could not hurt anyone else.?
Every one has his story of how he fell into drugs, though today, their stories are almost identical: The pursuit of money to buy the ?stuff,? the arrests, the disease, and the desire to detox. Some managed to get clean for a little while through a rehab center, but the day-to-day battle overpowers most who find themselves again in the same cycle: Procuring money through theft, prostitution, or begging in the street, then getting their ?stuff? and injecting the ?black? (the streetname for black tar heroine).
The most popular and cheapest drug of choice is call ?Hagigat.? It can be obtained on any street corner and is then injected as is or first mixed with other ingredients.
The quality of this drug is very low and it causes bad sores on the body, infections, necrosis, and even a significant number of deaths that no one bothers to report, such as that of Alex, the 19-year-old who is rumored to have died on some street corner. Their food basically consists of the leftovers that are discarded by restaurants and grocery stores. Their ?food of choice? are sweet fruits such as grapes, watermelon, and cantaloupe that remain relatively whole near the place where they are discarded.
Some of the addicts call themselves ?sick.? Some call themselves ?unlucky.? Some just want to die.
Photo documentary story / Photojournal by Israeli Photographer Yaniv Nadav (Hits: 18662)
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