Montenegro – land of cocaine and trauma (I)

Author: Sine Die

If both those who are and those who are not consumers of this substance know, then it is simply impossible for me that those who represent the state in this fight and who should work to control, not to say suppress, street sales do not know either…

“The one who is closest to you takes the coke. If not your father or your mother, if not your brother, then your son. If not your son, then your boss. If not him, then the nurse who changes your grandfather’s catheter, and everything seems easier with coke, even night shifts. If not her, then the painter painting your girlfriend’s room – he started of curiosity, and ended up in debt. Those who use it are right there, not far from you… The mayor you had dinner with. But if on second thought, you decide that none of these people are snorting cocaine, then you either can’t see it or you’re lying to yourself. Or, simply, you are the one using it.”

“Zero, zero, zero – how cocaine rules the world”
(Roberto Saviano)

Saviano said in a TV interview that cocaine is the answer to the times we live in. Because it has come down to a price that is accessible to everyone and is therefore no longer a drug for snobs, as it was once thought.

Very known topic in Montenegro: “Bananas with cocaine

While Saviano, in his book, is just opening our eyes to the issue of the presence of cocaine in our lives, let’s try to go a step further and ask the question of how much it concerns us and how much we have contributed to the new cocaine order.

For the average reader to be more concerned with this topic, it is important to suggest that what we accept as a media curiosity, or a national joke – tons and tons of cocaine seized from the hands of Montenegrins all over the world – has much more tangible consequences in our daily lives: missing persons, raped women, trafficking, dozens of murders on the streets, even people accidentally killed in clashes between cocaine “entrepreneurs”, drugged youth, questionable music events and similar parties, high school students who will be recruited into many clans, traffic accidents… and a lot of things that shocked us at least once in life, has a cause in that “comic fact” and “crazy information” that our country is on the map of world cocaine routes.

No one is bringing something new if they say that cocaine is present in Montenegro. It rules the world and has been doing so for years, it hasn’t bypassed us either.

Drug traficking routes identified in the Western Balkans

The European Center for Monitoring Drugs and Drug Addiction in its report from November of this year, for the Western Balkans, among other things, states the following: “Criminal networks from the Western Balkan region … have emerged as major players on the cocaine market in the EU and it seems that they are involved in the movement of drugs from Latin America directly to European ports.”

His presence is slowly but surely killing the future we should be looking forward to. A collective future.

I live among people who, in this madness of the world, have fallen to live the reality of a state that has been privatized. Not by human forms, services, parties, other states, etc. It was privatized by cocaine. Cocaine as an occupier.

Do you know someone who snorts cocaine? Do you snort cocaine? Come on, honestly now? To yourself, of course, don’t say it out loud.

The new normal?

A few days ago, I stopped by the city where I worked a few years ago. I invited a couple of people I haven’t seen for a long time to drink coffee. I’m asking about a friend, where is he, what is he doing, I haven’t seen him for a long time, his number is disconnected, he’s not online… BOOM! “He started snorting,” they tell me.

My former colleague, who was yet to start his life and direct his potential and creativity towards something that can only bring him good, “snorts”, and due to an increased desire for cocaine, falling into debt, his parents threw him out of the house for a short time, because he started selling things, he was “running around in debts”. I don’t know if he’s back, but I know he likes cocaine, or at least what they sell him on the street as cocaine.

I don’t know, “you can’t reach him, he’s invisible, he’s hiding”, they say…

Photo: Ilustration/Depositphotos

Last summer, I went out with friends to a gig. I go to the toilet at one point, wash my hands, and start to go out… BOOM.

An acquaintance I haven’t seen in a couple of years. He comes out of one of the cabins, he says hi, visibly drunk, with traces of cocaine on his nose. And he laughs. That smile from which bursts the pain and anger that is suppressed under the state in which he is at that moment.

I divert his attention (so that he can wipe himself off, for God’s sake) and leave, asking myself the question for the umpteenth time: is this a new reality that we need to come to terms with?

In the period when music was “forbidden” in bars, I was walking through a seaside town, somewhere around ten in the morning. I found the perfect place for a short sunbath with a coffee. I settle in, order, and the coffee arrives… I breathe in the sea, look at the sky, and admire this piece of Earth I’m on. BOOM.

Two young guys, I would say no more than 22-23 years old. They sit at the table next to me, there are a couple of other people in the cafe. I’m not listening, but I HEAR them talking about how the purest cocaine is from /??/’s, and how  X, Y, and Z took it just last night and that he “spilled” them the STRONGEST.

I didn’t want to hear it, but I did. And now I know who sells the purest cocaine in that city. And I didn’t need that information. By no means.

My boss snorted cocaine. I also had colleagues who snorted cocaine. Once, during a massage, I noticed that the masseur came out of the toilet putting a rolled-up 20-euro bill in his uniform pocket. It is said that there are companies that survive for years, although the presence of cocaine among workers is incredible.

It is said that there are also young people who have discovered ways to use the money through projects that are supposed to change our reality and future, which are financed by some “foreigners”, for cocaine and personal gain. Companies, cocaine, trips, car parks, but since the nose is always in use, it’s never enough. And the circle remains vicious.

Story after story, witness after witness, many of us know, hear and see that many consume cocaine. A lot of people snort. That should be of great concern.

I have tried things in my life that are not good, and I do not give myself the right to judge anyone for that. In a transitional and partitocratic society, full of relatives and financial lobbies, disturbed social values have taken their place. When children grow up seeing how their parents, professors, friends, and acquaintances cannot make a decent living from their work, and that corrupt politicians and criminals get rich overnight, they realize that it is more worthwhile for them to go that way and consider it a correct way of life and socializing.

How can we expect young people to be better than their parents when neither of them has found their way in a transitional society and a system that does not take care of them? Values are proportional to the knowledge of a society, and our society knows very little or nothing. Someone worked on it, to make it just so. Our system does not affirm the potential of the youth and has no ready answers for the problems we face. We are left on our own.

The influence goes so far that it extinguishes the potential of many generations that should bring forth some better and more beautiful things for this society.

It’s snowing

Who sells cocaine? So far, I have managed to hear that there are people who are taxi drivers, bakers, inspectors, waiters, bartenders, managers, and directors, but in addition, they have additional income by selling cocaine – while 80% of them use what they sell. Rumor has it that there are underage kids who work on the streets.

The case of Montenegrin boxer Goran Gogić: Curiosity in the media, but catastrophic effects in everyday social life

And you know what I find most interesting about all of this? All I write are things that are “public secrets”. So, if people who are and are not consumers of this substance know, then it is simply impossible for me that those who represent the state in this fight and who should work to control, not to say suppress, street sales do not know.

It is possible, however, that someone tried to privatize this country with cocaine so that wherever it is scratched, the strings are held by lovers of this substance. Or those who benefit from it. Street sales may be controlled, but in a way that contributes to a collective brain killing.

I wonder, how do we plan to fix anything when the state and society are anesthetized by the amount of cocaine that our (fellow) citizens snort through their noses? We don’t have time for changes, because our life is so difficult, ugly, and without any greater meaning, we are so unhappy with the various circumstances that surround us, and since we are not ready to face them, it is easier to extinguish it like that, from the inside. Collectively traumatized, we live in paranoia and unhappiness and absorb politicians and their shenanigans without a problem.

Statistics, strategies, institutions

It is completely normal for us to make a joke when it comes to cocaine smuggling, which I guess in itself means that we have come to terms with this global problem as our reality.

However, although it is a global problem, our aggravating circumstance is the fact that 621,873 people live in Montenegro (according to MONSTAT estimates from 2020), and that a large number of them are anesthetized with some drug… Alcohol, various drugs, cigarettes, tablets to calm down (on your own), etc. Anesthetized by bad things. Anesthesia. Collective.

Will we as a society be ready to face the traumas we have lived through and in a system that was created as perfect for it? A country that is susceptible to influences, precisely because its citizens are constantly under some influence. Is there an awakening of consciousness when collective anesthesia has taken over society, with the absence of elementary tools for steps forward?

In Montenegro, there is no updated or precise register of users of psychoactive substances, and the last adopted documents (the ones that are the least difficult to write, anyway, most are only there because they have to exist on paper) are the Strategy of Montenegro for the Prevention of Drug Abuse 2013- 2020 and Action Plan 2013-2016.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) made a report on drug addiction treatment systems in the Western Balkans, but Montenegro is not included in that research.

I don’t know if something has changed in the meantime, but at one point in the Drug Commission of the Ministry of Health (whose task is to deal more seriously with the implementation of strategies, etc.) there were no representatives of the Institute for Public Health of Montenegro, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, Police Administration, Customs Administration, etc.

For a long time, I don’t believe in Commissions, Strategies when it comes to Montenegro, which is a consequence of the strongest link in our system, “it all looks nice on paper, that’s the most important thing”.

If we are guided by those documents, we do not have that problem in our system. We don’t have problems with mental health either if the system is to be believed. And if the MENTALITY is to be believed, we don’t have any problems. Everything is fine.

Traumatized children

The numbers are getting bigger and bigger every day. And yes, I could turn my head and pretend it’s not my problem. But it is because all these people are part of my society. And the bigger the number, the bigger the problem is for society: A society that doesn’t know or doesn’t want to face the realities and problems that are eating it from the inside, but chooses to think that everything is fine, at least as long as it “spills” the strongest“.

We are collectively shutting down; alcohol, weed, cocaine, whatever – we extinguish something in ourselves. Traumatized by the system and interpersonal relationships, not admitting it to themselves or others. Everything is fine and we are fine. We don’t talk about those things. We don’t talk about it. We live and anesthetize ourselves… All of us.

/To be continued…/