Migrating to Shoot Up Legally: Heroin Commuters | High Society

Migrating to Shoot Up Legally: Heroin Commuters | High Society

He’s with someone, so watch out.Do you need some dope?It’s 120 milligrams.OK?This is dope [heroin].This is not a life I recommend
for no one
but here in Denmark, the government
is more liberal in that way,
that places like this
makes it more controlled.
I’m at the heart of Copenhagen’s
drug scene in the area of Vesterbro. Behind me is one of the world’s
largest, legal drug intake facilities called H17. Inside, they have 24 rooms where
users can inject or smoke their drugs which happens roughly around
700 times a day. Denmark introduced these
drug consumption venues in 2012 and they have special areas
surrounding them where you won’t get arrested
for drug possession if it’s for your own personal use. These kinds of drug consumption
rooms, known as DCRs, are government funded venues where illicit drugs can be used under
the supervision of trained staff. The first DCR opened in 1986
in Bern, Switzerland, in response to rising HIV infections
and drug related deaths. In the years to follow, DCRs opened
in nine European countries. Now Portugal, Mexico, Ireland, the UK
and Romania are considering opening them. However, in Denmark,
this liberal policy has had an unexpected consequence: an influx of heroin users
from neighbouring Sweden, where there is a zero tolerance
drug policy. There are around 50 to 100 Swedish
drug users in Copenhagen at any given time. Some commute, others, like Kris,
have moved here even if it means sleeping rough.What was your life like before you
became homeless?
I had a very good life.I worked in buildings, you know,building new houses.I worked there for maybe ten years.After that I had to go to court.After that,it just went downhill.I sold my car and moved
out of my apartment,
I couldn’t pay the bills.Everything was just gone.So I,I got out of there.-You took off?
-Yeah, I took off.
Kris has been homeless on the streets
of Copenhagen for six years now.I met some other Swedish guys,and we’re very good friends now.-Do you have any weed?
-No, nothing. We smoked all of it.
I do this thing, to go to H17.Okay, I’m an addict.I’m waiting for Patrik, who just
left with a drug dealer.
When he returns, we’ll enter H17.While we’re waiting to enter, Patrik shares his drugs
with a Swedish friend.-Do you want some dope or not?
-You can’t come in with me, no.
-But can’t we just…
-Here, do you want it or not?
Open your hand.-Hi. How’s it going?
-Hi. What are you saying?
-Are you good?
-The nicest one on the block.Does anyone have a lighter?A lighter?Can you ask her for some citric acid?We need some acid.This is dope.I’m going to take dope and coke.Hardened drug users like Patrik
mix heroin and cocaine in search of a more powerful high, a so-called ‘speedball’. It’s a dangerous cocktail that
multiplies the risk of overdose.This is cocaine.Hopefully it’s really strong cocaine.Patrik needs to shoot up between
six and eight times a day,
to avoid withdrawal symptoms like
stomach cramps, anxiety and fever.
-So that’s the heroin?
-Yes. This is heroin.
Since 2012, Denmark’s
drug consumption rooms have seen more than
a million drug intakes and experienced 700 overdoses, yet they haven’t registered
a single death.I don’t enjoy this.It’s just something that I wish
I could stop
and I believe I’m going to be
able to do that.
This is not a life I recommend
for no one,
but here in Denmark I think you
help people, and listen more
and the government is
more liberal in that way,
that places like this makes it
more controlled I think
and less violentand there are fewer diseases.Tina Leth Hansen has a Masters
in social work. She wrote her thesis about
Swedish drug users in Copenhagen. I ask her what the drug scene is like
in Sweden.It’s harder to get a hold of drugs
and they are more expensive.
It’s also harder to get clean needles
and syringes and so on,
the tools you use for taking drugs.This is the tip of a needle
through a microscope.
What you see is how nice and sharp
it is before it’s been used.
When it’s been used six times,well it says six, but it actually
means when it’s been
in and out of the skin six times,it’s completely broken.The more you use a damaged needle,the larger a hole you make
in your veins,
increasing the risk of blood clots,
of harming yourself
and the risk of disease.Michael Lodberg is a social
entrepreneur who opened Denmark’s first DCR
in 2011.Once you have a drug intake room
suddenly it’s possible
to control the drug scene
just a little bit,
because you’ve created
a very attractive place,
for drug users to ingest their drugs
in the safest way in the world.
No drug user has ever died in a drug
intakeroom anywhere in the world.Before we had drug intake rooms 8,000
to 12,000 used needles were collected
every week in the Vesterbro area.For a very small area,
that’s a lot a of used needles.
I want to know how Patrik experiences
life on the streets of Denmark.Here you have a lot of shelters
where you can sleep and
you can eat food for free
in many different places.
It’s really easy, the only thing you
need to do is you need
to work to get money to buy
whatever stuff you take.
Now I have to go to jail again.I got caught about 50 times
for theft.
Think of three years you do this,four times every day,
for over three years
then people think, “What an idiot,
he’s been caught 50 times”
but if you do this four or five times
every day for over three years,
of course you get f*****g caught.One of the things setting the Swedes
apart on the Danish drug scene is,
that they are younger than their
Danish counterpart.
Besides that, they’re overrepresented
in the overdose statistics.
Despite the fact that they,
from the outside, seem like a group
that’s very exposed
and is having a hard time,
they themselves say they have it
better in Denmark than in Sweden.
As a healthcare professional,
one can only think,
“Well, you are sitting here really
exposed and with no rights,
and you’re telling me that you are
better off here.”
That’s interesting
and thought provoking.
What are you coming from
if you feel life is better
on the streets of a foreign country?According to the EU’s drug agency,Denmark has 57 drug related deaths
per 1 million citizens per year. In Sweden, that number is 100. It’s the country with the second
highest overdose death rate in Europe after Estonia. I want to understand why the Swedish
system so rigidly sticks to its
zero tolerance policy,despite the proven success
of drug intake rooms.
So I travelled to Malmö to meet
Per Einarsson
one of the politicians against DCRs. He’s a Christian Democrat who sits
on the health council in the region of Skåne.What is the general stance
on drug users?
The Swedish stance is that
we want to help them
in the situation they are in and,
as much as possible,
help them out of their addiction
to narcotics.
So you are against drug
consumption rooms?
Yes. I wouldn’t consider them.But we know that drug consumption
rooms lower overdose mortality rate.
How can drug consumption rooms that
are saving lives be a bad thing?
I think that,saving lives is important.We want to lower the overdose rate,
but we want to do it differently.
We can’t just put drug use
into a nice environment and say,
“Now you can inject your drugs,
look, here is a place,”
while we have the law saying,
“NO”.We say stop.As a politician, is it not necessary
to look inwards,
when confronted with the fact that
Swedish drug users would rather
sleep rough in Copenhagen,where they are only offered help to
survive on a day-to-day basis,
than be in their own country and
receive help with getting clean?
Don’t you have to do something
about this?
Yes. It’s something
that really affects me.
It shouldn’t be necessary to travel
to another country,
because Sweden’s attitude
is too tough.
I want to know why this is happening.What is it that has put a stop
for him in Sweden?
What went wrong?-Where did it go wrong?
We have to look at that question.This is not reasonable.It’s unlikely that Swedish drug users
will stop coming to Denmark anytime soon. However, the situation for Swedish
drug users is slowly improving. It’s already easier to get access
to clean needles and in 2018, Nalaxone, the same drug
H17 uses to treat overdoses became available in Sweden. But for now, the choice is clear for
Kris, Patrik and the other Swedish drug users
in Copenhagen. They prefer life in Denmark.


  1. Watch the uncensored version here: https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/heroin-commuters-swedish-drug-users-are-migrating-to-denmark/5d5a7882be407725f0343084

  2. Addiction happens to the most intelligent and best in life people with a good heart but because of the drug would probably rip out your heart it's his powerful heroin is it is the daddy of all drugs and the one that destroys everything and everyone around it once it has that grip it's over unless you ween yourself off slowly but surely or take a substitute called methadone which in reality is not very good for you in the long run etc but there are other drugs that you can take as a heroin substitute but the best best best thing to do is just be strong and never start it in the first place as it does kill you and everyone around you too slowly but surely anyway if anyone's in the UK and needs help just ask ok it's easy to get help PS I've got to say this also just before I go ok and it's if drugs were free and legal no one would be an addict cos no one would want them anymore ? So talk to your government peace out guys luv and strength to all addict of any kind bless you all 👍👍👍

  3. What motivates VICE to censor shots of drugs and paraphernalia when A&E leaves the same drugs and the same paraphernalia uncensored in its clips from Live PD? Is it perhaps the case that Youtube is stricter in its censorship of videos that do not promote the inhumane remnants of the "war" on drugs?

  4. I get that preventing overdose deaths is a good thing, but how else are they helping them, maybe they could throw them in an unvoluntary detox program for 60 days.

  5. Drugs should be eradicated, punishment should be hard, no tolerance to people, who choose THEMSELFS to go on bad path, destroy their own health, and can’t figure out their own problems in their own heads. Zero tolerance, strict and brutal punishment !

  6. I'm sure the productive members of society in Denmark are thrilled to have homeless junkies migrating to their home.

  7. I go to highschool at that exact spot in Copenhagen. And it's true that people are literally walking around fucked up, but they never say or harm anyone. They are actually pretty nice most of them

  8. They should invest in Kratom research. Due to stimulant and sedative effect it can help both stimulant and opioid abusers, whilst removing any risk of respiratory depressions due to it's receptor selectivity (kappa agonism significantly enhances mu and delta opioid respiratory depression) this can be shown easily in experiments with Salvinorin A. When combined with Kratom the effect is closers to classical opiates, without it is no where near the level of sedation, very little nod but the Salvia (kappa agonism) makes it more similar to morphine-like opioids as kappa agonism induces a trance state on it's own but not euphoric, but with the two other receptors activated by kratom only then it becomes the typical opioid trance effect with significant euphoria and mild psychedelia (dream-like state almost) .

  9. 7:03 this is why I am 100% against safe use facilities. We are paying to encourage addicts to rob/mug/steal/burgle our hard-earned income from us.

  10. Free food, free drug den and legal places to buy it, shelters, why would any of these people want to get better?

  11. sure, of course – it’s important to decrease the death rate, but not as important as upholding our tough, anti-narcotics image

    paraphrasing: ‘treat those who are less fortunate than you as Christ would have – but always keep them at arm’s length and take care to remind them that they are just a little bit less than human’ This brand of Christianity sickens me

  12. And they have the audacity to call Americans crazy with our laws. Europe look at u now. Not so perfect either huh. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning seems they don’t

  13. NO WAY. I been wishing this forever. !!! A place to migrate to to not be judged and work my job and live my personal life how I want! Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe what most junkies do is right!!! They shouldn’t be out stealing or if privided free just be getting high over n over. I use every 6 to 10 hours strictly and for 6 yeaRs straight kept my sht disciplined. I only use when I have to. To help my back and withdrawals from going away and I go to work. And function. I don’t tell people who know me in real life that I’m using cause they’ll just judge me. It’s funny how I’m functional and normal to them. And I have to keep it secret. I hate junkies who give us all a bad name!!! It’s not right the USAs war on drugs is beyond retsrded. They hurt people who need help lol. It’s so sad and ignorant. And it’s funny cause alcohol is ruining my life rn. Unlike any other substance can and it’s funny cause alcohol is a legal drug. Here.

  14. I LOVE how Vice edits put in EVIL music when he shows the drugs LOl. Fucking idiots. Also be careful with speedballs folks! I sometimes use them for fun like maybe once every month or two. But that’s it cause if u get a lot of coke it is SUPER mentally addictive. And u will do it over n over and waste money and black tar or heroin or whatever. So yeah. If u get coke ONLY BUY as little as You can.

  15. Yes we need new needles EVERyTImE it is a strict rule I try my best to follow. But then u have asshole pharmacies denying you them! And lying! Here in California.always try to buy the highest gauge which means smaller circumference.

  16. oh i got so extremely uncomfortable when he said this is dope but they blurred it thanks vice my god what kind of Cowards cant handle seeing that XD

  17. Is it just me?!.
    Dope just used to be what cannabis was called.
    Heroin etc had there own names ie: smack….

  18. Ok its one step in the right direction I guess, but you must give them homes and access to facilitys to help them better themselves and people around them. Theres no incentive to do better and better yourself. You dont have to do anything he said himself in the video.

  19. It's so weird. I don't miss the drugs or that life. But occasionally I miss the routine of cooking and shooting up. It was like a secret ritual. The trail of blood that ribbons into the needle. The smell.

    I used opiates for about a decade. I started way young…around my 18th birthday I was given heroin because the Oxy guy was out of town…
    I passed out and was raped by my addict roommate (he's since killed himself and I have no sympathy)
    After that I spiraled into heroin use to mask trauma and PTSD from a multitude of things.

    My life isn't perfect now but the contrast is like Heaven and Hell. I'm never going back.

  20. While these drug center will allow for safer usage it doesn’t actually solve the issue. It’s pretty much just a bandaid.

  21. Life is the most precious commodity we have. Period. Let's help these people stay alive long enough for us to solve the problems. The war on drugs sure isn't working. Some will say the addicts are just lazy leaches on society, but I'm not in the least bit jealous of these poor souls wretched existence.

  22. In such Swedeish or Denmark weather and darkness, no wonder people use heroin. Living in those countries is a psychological challenge. So people rather use drugs.

  23. Those homeless guys look so much healthier and more well dressed and happy and well equipped compared to the homeless of the UK, clearly Denmark are doing something right

  24. This is a travesty..I’m a recovered heroin addict and have been clean for 3 years now..Denmark may think that this is harm reduction and it’s safer for the users but it’s all a disguise for enabling..shame on that “entrepreneur” thinking he’s a saint when in reality he’s making money off of anguish and people who are SICK..how about instead of “safe injection sites” we as an international people build HOSPITALS AND DETOX FACILITIES..for both physical and mental help!!…this is further pushing a liberal agenda but it keeps people stuck in a disgusting cycle of pain and grief..detox and mental health programs should be the answer..why watch these people kill themselves daily in a sterile coffin disguised as “safe place”…the governments are deliberately dumming down citizens through drug use..open your eyes..RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE..I used on and off for 10 years..detox is nothing without follow up of mental faculties and other aspects of life that’s been damaged by addiction

  25. @9:48 describes the dichotomy of how we address drug use, but also so many other issues in society. I always thought it was so odd that governments that act in a more parental way such as Denmark consider themselves Liberal. 

    The drug addicts in your country are going to leave for another country that has more lenient drug laws, what are you going to do fix this? THEY LITERALLY JUST DID

  26. Addicts sit in the cold day and night begging for money to feed their addiction. Why don't they use that technique to improve their life, future ?
    Why not beg for an opportunity, a job a better life ?

    You can onlh help yourself! Most addicts just lack any real ambitions in life!

  27. It's amazing to think people are paying to support junkies taking drugs. The same guy who brags about how easy it is to get food for free but steals 3-4 times a day for 3 years. These people belong in jail. They should be forced to quit.

  28. All drugs should be legal. No government should have the right to say what we can and cannot put in our own bodies, and heroin isn't actually damaging to physical health. It's the fact that it's not sterile and all the shit it's cut with that kills people.

  29. I'm having Goosebumps watching that man "concoct" his drugs. Speedball to me were always those different tips of pens for Calligraphy. This is the first time I am learning that it is a name to describe a combination of drugs.

  30. I’ve smoke heroine one time I was in house arrest it tasted like marshmallows I never touched since then it’s been 8 years fuck that shit

  31. Why would Sweden care? It’s users are willingly leaving the State and going to another State….if I was the State I’d just look the other way and not care. If I was the State, that is.

  32. It takes a real "Christian" to show brotherly love and let their citizens die of drug overdoses instead of the tried and true Portugal approach and others worldwide.

  33. Pecche diavolo mettete il titoli in italiano se poi il video è in lingua straniera,almeno mettete i sottotitoli in italiano

  34. It's amazing that some countries have common sense. You'll never stop addiction, and this is just such a good fucking idea all around. In USA most people shoot in their cars after copping, then nod off and kill families in accidents.

  35. They blurred out a brown/beige/tan:/grey rock and powder really?

    Should be educational and show people what it
    Looks like-
    Wtf kind of shit is that

  36. I find it hard to believe they found 12k needles in that little place, but if it is factually true holy shit. I feel mixed emotions about giving junkies a place to shoot up… but if they really had about 40k used needles A MONTH then there's no arguing it.

    I don't like "bandaid" solutions to problems that require surgery, but there's no argument if the option is "band aid now or die". The callous part of my soul says if they wanna risk their lives for it then so be it. The empathy in my soul says that's someone's child… and no matter how foolish they are with their choices, the pain that their (easily avoided) death would cause is absolutely worth having these drug havens 🤷‍♂️

    This is why philosophy is too much for many people. Contradicting thoughts make stupid people angry 😂

  37. I'd be in the room rolling joints 😂 on my tablet watching cartoons sorry guys I need 2-3 more hours these drugs ain't working

  38. Bringing them all to one area. Wow can’t see this being bad at all😳🙄🙈🤦🏼‍♀️👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  39. i was born and raised in the u.s., i'm completely sober and have a full time job. i'd rather be a homeless drug user in denmark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *