According to WHO, Estonia counts 190.8 deaths per million inhabitants
each year and has the primacy in the world for drugs-induced deaths.
As for Europe, Estonia's primacy is more than double compared with the
second-placed Norway, 75.9 deaths, which in turn is more than double of
drug deaths in Lithuania, in third place.
Another dramatic primacy of Estonia is the HIV infection rate, the highest
in the European Union, with more than 1% of the HIV-positive population
- seven times the rate of neighboring Finland. Even hepatitis C is rampant.
The problem began in the late 1990s when difficult times came in large
areas of Russia and its former satellites after the fall of communism.
This delicate and unstable environment has been a fertile ground for new
markets, especially for drugs, a mature area for drug dealers. In 1999,
between 15,000 and 20,000 people out of a total of 1.3 million were heroin
addicts, fed by a reliable supply from Afghanistan's poppy fields.
The following year, when the Taliban imposed an opium ban, the supply
was discontinued. To fill the void, narco local traffickers have begun a
new road distribution of a synthetic opiate, its name is Fentanyl, a
synthetic opiate analgesic, about 100 times more potent than morphine and
tens of times more potent than heroin.
Fentanyl has now literally invaded the drug market in many countries,
completely replacing heroin now considered as a light drug.
In 2002, 105 cases of fatal overdose from illicit drugs were reported - 90%
caused by Fentanyl. Over the next 10 years, cases exceeded 1,000, again
almost all due to Fentanyl, giving the country the highest mortality rate per
overdose per capita in the European Union. In 2012, when 170 deaths were
reported, it became the highest fatal overdose rate in the world.
I documented the rehabilitation in the only hospital funded by the
government, which provides a medical and psychological path to treat the
physical and the mind of drug addicts.
Speaking with Andrei, 29, one of the protagonists of this project, he says that the drug is an internal voice, a squeaky rustle, that digs you inside, that pierces the soul, that kills you slowly, one needle at a time. Andrei says it's not about the drugs, today is Fentanyl, tomorrow it will be another substance.
We need to deal with social factors, the psychological and spiritual factors that lead people to listen that fatal inner wispher.