Norwegian Drug Addiction.
An addict once told me, if i was to try heroin for the first time i would more than likely not be addicted due to the fact i would know when to stop.
It seems hard to believe but yet true. But i guess i am not a heroin addict, i asked many questions as to why some of these people become addicted to heroin, near on all of them had the same answer " escape", escaping from family traumas, bad relationships, rape, and the list goes on. One of the women i was photographing told me as she was preparing to inject that she had a 9 year old daughter, and that she had to lie to her each time she left the house, i asked her if she loved her? she replied as the needle entered her upper left leg, of course i do she replied, as she slowly injected 20 milligrams of heroin in to her leg, i asked her but isn't your daughter a good insanity to stop using drugs? she just looked at me with a blank look as her eyes started to go glassy, her reflexes slowing as she uttered the words , i never want my little girl to know, it would brake her heart, then how do you stop that from happening i asked? i just don't know she replied as she took another syringe she had prepared and started to inject it between her toes.
I followed some of these people over the corse of months seeing what would change for them, to me it would come down to an inevitable death, which brings me to one of the man within this set of images. He had been a heroin user for sometime so he seemed to know a lot about the drug and how to use it, he told me, if you inject in the same spot for too long it can damage the vein and sometimes permanently, he said i know this because it has happened to me, i asked him which vein? at first he laughed and said do you really want to know, sure i said, how bad could it be. He told me that he had been injecting in to his penis so that he would not get found out whilst working at the job he was doing at the time, whilst he was telling me about his life, at the same time he was preparing a cocktail of drugs, i had to ask, what is that you are preparing because i have seen what heroin looks like within a syringe, but what you are doing looks nothing like anything i have ever seen, he told me this is what you call a speed ball, a mixture of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy in the one syringe, you are kidding me i replied, that's just suicide, but that did not seem to stop him, at first he tried to inject it into his vein on his hand as by the looks of this he has had many times before, as the needle entered the vein, the vein suddenly collapsed, but still that did not seem to stop his determination for the need to be high, he call over someone he knew so that he could help him inject. What came next still today haunts me, he gave the syringe to his friend and asked him to inject it in to his neck, at first his friend looked a little confused as where to put the needle, but the man blew his cheeks out and held his breath so that the vein in his neck protruded so that it could make it easier to see where to put the needle. To me it just didn't seem right, for one, the cocktail of drugs that he had placed within the needle, and two, where he was putting it at the time, to tell you the truth it scared the hell out of me and not just for me but him as well, it did not take too long to see things were going bad for him, i watched as his eyes round back into his head, and how he seemed to lose all sense of where he was as he collapsed and started to lose consciousness, two hours from the moment his friend injected him in the neck he died of an overdose.
Whilst collecting these images i learnt that Oslo Norway has at least 3000 heroin addict, from the working class to the homeless, and at 10 euro a hit per person that adds up to being 30,000 euro a day, near on 11,000,000 euro a year.
The Norwegian government is trying to help stop the flow of heroin, by helping the addict by opening methadone outlets so that the heroin user can go into one of these outlets and be helped by the staff and be supervised whilst using methadone.