In a tragic development, the 16-year-old girl, who was intubated in a coma for several days after allegedly being coerced into taking a potent methamphetamine based drug called “sisa”, has died today, Wednesday, November 22 in an Athens hospital.
The new potent drug mixture, commonly known as the “poor man’s cocaine” (or sisa), dominated media headlines in Greece last week after a teen girl – now comatose – was allegedly coerced into taking the concoction by drug traffickers in Athens.
Speaking to state broadcaster ERT, a professor of Medical Pharmacology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a psychiatrist, Georgios Papazisis, shed light on the threat it presents and its devastating effects.
“The ‘sisa,’ also known as the ‘cocaine of the poor,’ is a stimulant substance, its base being crystalline methamphetamine. In recent years, new synthetic chemical narcotics like this one, containing mixtures and other chemical substances of unknown origin, have become prevalent,” he stated during his interview with ERT.
“The issue with these synthetic narcotics, being stimulants” he continued “is that they are very cheap and easy to produce, with low costs. That is, one dose can cost only a few euros. The damages and toxicity are numerous compared to the known narcotic substances.”
To highlight the extreme potency of the drug, the professor said that the brain damage caused by six months of sisa use is equivalent to 20 years of heroin.
“They [sisa] can be smoked, and lately, they are also available in injectable form, making them even more dangerous.”
Changes in Children’s Behavior: A Warning Sign
Although Professor Papazisis stressed there were no clear warning signs until the usage progresses to the second stage, i.e., the injectable form, he cautioned parents about noticing any sudden shifts in behavior and mannerisms of their children, combined with withdrawal from activities.
He pointed out that these specific substances are highly stimulating, causing irritability, aggression, severe sleep disturbances, and urged families to remain alert of these symptoms.
The ongoing investigation leading to six arrests also incriminates a 17-year-old who lured a 16-year-old girl to a house in Vyronas, where she was found the next day “with her eyes open, bleeding from the nose,” as described by her friend.