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In 2001, Argentina faced a devastating economic crisis that led to widespread unemployment and left more than 50 percent of the country living below the poverty line. Amid the devastation, a cheap and enormously addictive drug called paco — a variation of crack made from cocaine residue, baking soda, and sometimes even crushed glass and rat poison — started to take hold, especially among young people in urban barrios.
Today, 13 years after the crisis, Argentina’s economy is once again in trouble, and the widespread abuse of paco continues. VICE News traveled to Argentina and talked to paco manufactures and users, along with activists and government authorities, to find out why so little has been done to curb the problem, and whether a new wave of addicts is about to emerge.
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