Monday, July 24th, 2017

Drug of the Poor: Sisa

May 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Addiction, Sisa

Sisa

Drug of the Poor: Sisa

In Greece, 2010, enter the drug of the poor; Sisa. Sisa is the only drug that can only be found in Greece and is made under very special circumstances. Sisa is mainly found in central Athens. What sisa is exactly made of still under dispute and is being kept under wraps although it is said to be sold as a colorless crystalline substance. It is also said to be made up of methamphetamines and the liquid that comes from car batteries. Sisa is most commonly smoked although it is also sometimes injected. Those who are using sisa tend to be immigrants either from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and India.  The group using sisa also includes heroin users and young drug users.

According to Greek newspapers sisa is produced in illegal labs within Athens and is called the drug of the poor or the cocaine of the poor. Sisa is sold on the street for around 1 to 2 euros, which is the equivalent of about a dollar fifty to three dollars. For this cost it is assumed you can probably get a couple grams of sisa. This gives its name as drug of the poor some real basis because it is so cheap and easy to use.

Some of the side effects associated with sisa use are most commonly insomnia, anorexia, palpitations, hallucinations, anxiety, and psychiatric and heart problems. Some other side effects of sisa are aggression, ulcers in the mouth, nose or intestine, rashes and infections, schizophrenia, emaciation, and heart problems.

According to an article in a Greek newspaper sisa can also cause aggressive behavior and increased sexuality. Sisa has already gotten a bad reputation for increasing HIV rates. This increase is supposedly due to the intense sexual promiscuity caused by sisa which causes the user to forget all the necessary precautions before having sex. This could be the case but other public health professionals think that sisa is the cause of the increase in HIV because the drug is more often injected rather than smoked.

Athens is already starting to do something to combat the use of sisa by running a direct intervention program in the streets. KETHEA which is one of the biggest therapeutic communities for drug addicts in Greece is heading the charge. KETHEA aims to provide accommodation, food and a friendly environment for the sisa users that are found in the streets of Athens. The issue for Athens is not criminal behavior but about life and health.

KETHEA interviewed a number of drug users and found that 95.3% of the 148 drug users questioned were familiar or had heard of the drug sisa and 68.5% of the drug users had used it. The majority of the sisa drugs users were between 31 and 35 years old. According to an article in a Greek magazine sisa users have serious health problems, for instance: most of them are undernourished, 64% of them are suffering from hepatitis C, 84% also inject heroin, and 17.7% of them are homeless.

It is believed by some in KETHEA that just like methadone is used as a substitute for heroin, sisa is used as a substitute for cocaine.

Sources:

http://ewsd.wiv-isp.be/Rapid%20communications%20%20extra%20information/SISA_GR_Feb2012.pdf

http://www.talkingdrugs.org/sisa-the-drug-of-the-poor

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