Farming coca, taking drugs, drinking alcohol - Gilda, Dominik and Emma are from different parts of the world, but they have one thing in common: their lives have been ruled by drugs.
Gilda works as a coca farmer in Bolivia. Her mother left, without a word of explanation, when she was only 15. Gilda would much rather be a teacher, but for now she is forced to pick coca leaves, the base ingredient of cocaine. It’s the only way she can hope to support her family. “It’s exhausting,” she told our reporter Jan, “and the money is never enough.”
Dominik started taking drugs when he was just a teenager. He did everything from marijuana to hard chemical substances. From then on, his life went downhill. Now he’s in a German prison for aggravated assault. “Drugs made me violent,” he told our Life Links reporter Carolina.
Emma hasn’t had a sip of alcohol for three years. She told our reporter Carl that at some point she realized “it’s everything or nothing”. But even now that she’s sober, she still struggles because Fins like to drink a lot. Finland has some of the highest alcohol taxes in Europe and thus a night out can quickly become incredibly expensive. Still, this doesn’t stop anyone from drinking. Despite such surroundings it’s a major stigma to be a young alcoholic in Finland. Most of Emma’s friends don’t know about her addiction.