In one of the main entrances to the cooperative Santiago Roldos, in the south of Guayaquil, Alex and Carlos (protected names), two 19 year olds that consider themselves “lifelong” friends, walk together.
They live in the coop. 9 de Julio. On Thursday September 1, they are in that sector for the so-called “hache” drug, a substance that they themselves recognize it has been as a “straitjacket”, which they can not leave.
“We started to consume hache since 2013,” says Alex. “You started to consume it in 2013!” replies Carlos, who explains him that he has tested certain substances since he was 14 years old.
Suddenly a patrol passes and one of them exclaims: “That’s the cop who always gets us!”. Both then laugh.
The two young men, who did not finish school, say they want to quit this habit, but the bone pains, the vomiting and the diarrhea they feel when they stop consuming it do not let them escape. This for them is not getting sick, they call it “enmonarse” jargon used in the street to identify the effects of withdrawal. “The monkey comes to us,” they say because of the euphoria state.
Carlos tells that five years ago he “was a healthy boy,” and that of the two, he “changed first.” At that age he stopped “playing play station, listening to music” and started drinking and smoking. “From Cigarette came the “grifa” (marijuana), there I knew what it was to snuff powder shove, the plop (cocaine base),” he says fluently.
With a mixture of regret and mischievous he said, referring to his ‘brother’: “He was my healthy friend and truth is I hurt him.” They believe that friends do influence when sharing habits or vices.