IS CBD MELBOURNE SAFE TO VISIT? THE HEROIN, DRUGS ADDICTION AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN MELBOURNE AND OTHER CRIMES. AUSTRALIA!

IS MELBOURNE SAFE TO VISIT? THE HEROIN, DRUGS ADDICTION AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN MELBOURNE AND OTHER CRIMES. AUSTRALIA!

This blog is about safety tips for Melbourne, especially the CBD area and the North Richmond area. It is a hub of the heroin crisis of Melbourne. As a traveler, you must watch out for anti social elements, drug addicts and the syringes which can get very uncomfortable and dangerous at times.As much as I love reading edgy stories, I also love bringing such stories to you which do not make it to the glossy travel magazines and utopian travel blogs. This blog will inform you of the underbelly of Melbourne, I knew nothing about. Until I embarked upon my first international solo trip to Australia.

Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia

Colorful Dustbins and grafitti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

THE DRUG ADDICT IN WASHROOM OF MELBOURNE- MEETING THE WOLVERINE

It was early morning. I had just arrived in Melbourne by bus from Canberra. Though the bus had a toilet but I dreaded using it. It was dirty, dark and too small for my mountainesque body. So the first thing I did after stepping foot at the bus terminal in Melbourne was to find a public toilet. I soon found one though was disappointed to see it dirty too. I anyways had no option. A strange voice welcomed me as soon as I entered.

Public Toilet Washroom Melbourne Australia

One of the public washrooms in Melbourne, Australia. This is not the washroom where I met the drug addict.

I entered one of separated WC cabins and pulled my pants down. As soon as I sat down on the dirty seat, the person from the cabin on my right started making disturbing sounds. It was incomprehensible. It was disturbing, animal like! It was the kind of sound a wolf will make while grabbing his prey by the neck. Or worse! Akin to a group of wild dogs eating a deer alive.

Homeless Beggar Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia (2)

A homeless white beggar in Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne, Australia. Beggars here are also often alcohol and drug addicts.

HE COULD HAVE EATEN ME ALIVE!

The beastly growls started getting wilder, alternated by massive unabashed farts (the kinds which release poop with it). I thought I had bought a ticket to a civilized so called first world! But ‘civilized’ people never lose their mind, said no one ever.

Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia

Colorful Dustbins and graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

I could not see his face. I could have waited for him to finish his business and see him emerge from the cabin. From the little English words I could pick and the accent, I could make out it was a white. What could he have looked like? Shabby clothes? Decaying tooth? Matted unkempt hair? Drowsy eye? Torn jacket? Saliva dripping from the lips? Naked? Or a well dressed dapper young man who lost purpose in life just 2 days ago? I will never know. Soon his belongings started entering my cabin through the slit at the bottom end of the separation wall. A lighter, few coins, some farts and water. It was a horrifying mess. I was disgusted. And scared.

Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia China Town

Obscene art galore! Colorful graffiti Street Art near China Town, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA HAS A MAJOR HEROIN CRISIS:

I thought his face will appear from the slit and he will bite me. Or pull my legs and chew it. I had imagined him as a Wolverine reincarnate. I had had enough! I did not even start my business and got up. I zipped my pants, picked my backpack and left the mess that my cabin had become; thanks to the little gifts I was welcomed to Melbourne with. As I emerged out, I had a quick glance at the cabin of the Wolverine. It was still locked. I could not see the long claws. I didn’t have the patience to see. The growls and farts had grown bolder.

Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia Homeless Beggars

The open secret of Melbourne, Australia occurs in narrow lanes and alleys full of graffiti and street art! I shot this near China Town in Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne, Australia. Beggars here are also often alcohol and drug addicts. 

The common area of the washroom was full of people. Chinese. Whites. Indians. They all heard it. No one cared. No one was shocked. It was perhaps a daily routine for them. I pretended to wash my hands and walked out. I took a deep breath and did not even try to find another public washroom to finish my business.

Big Nigga Africa Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia12

Heroin Crisis of Melbourne, Australia. Pic by: Pixabay

MY FIRST SOLO INTERNATIONAL TRIP STARTED IN MELBOURNE ON A HORRYFYING NOTE:

I should have recorded the sound or clicked a picture or video. But I panicked. It was the first day of my first international solo trip and this is how it started. This will always be my memory of my first day in the so called ‘world’s most liveable city.’ In the days to follow, I would discover the drug problem and other crimes of Melbourne. You don’t need a guided tour to see it. It’s free! It is very visual.

Big Nigga Africa Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia

Colorful graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

It happens openly in graffiti overdosed alleys and lanes such as Hosier Lane and sometimes on the main road too. And so do the other crimes of the big bad city! The next day, I witnessed another horrifying crime. I thought I was in the middle of an Islamic terrorist attack; the kind where they run down a car on unsuspecting innocent civilians. Read the full story of that scene on my blog here.

Cigarette butts Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia

The cool cigarette stand at smoking zone. Colorful graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

I explored the Central Business District aka CBD area all day on foot, fuelling myself with lame vegetarian sandwiches (By evening I was sick of it). I saw many faces of Melbourne in a single day but what stayed with me and disturbed me the most was not the ‘pretty and perfect’ mainstream culture but the dark and depressing underbelly of Melbourne. The seedy lanes and alleys, inundated with kitschy and gaudy (at times classy) street art was home to beggars, drug peddlars and drug addicts.

Dracula Horror Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia

Colorful graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

DIRTY LANES, HUMAN URINE, SYRINGES AND

DRUG OVERDOSE- MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA!

Dustbins overflowing with empty cans of alcohol, syringes and cigarette butts often spilled on to the roads. Human urine dirtied one of the lanes. A man was lying on the road unconscious. Another lady, high on the drugs was on the verge of crashing in one of the lanes at Hosier Lane. She was about to fall when one of her friends, also in a drug haze, pulled her in the nick of time and sat her down on the floor. It is easy to see people injecting themselves in open. I didn’t find it safe to click pictures.

Homeless Beggar Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia

The open secret of Melbourne, Australia occurs in narrow lanes and alleys full of graffiti and street art! I shot this near China Town in Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne, Australia. Beggars here are also often alcohol and drug addicts. 

THE DRUG CRISIS OF MELBOURNE-AN OPEN SECRET:

It didn’t happen on the main roads. Such incidents are common in the narrow alleys more.  Before the readers assume them to be an immigrant (always easy to blame), let me tell you all of the drug addicts I found were whites. Well dressed people, hair styled fashionably, tattoos in place, the works! Some are shabbily dressed and dirty though. This gentry is not to be confused with the many beggars and homeless people that roam the streets of Melbourne. However many white beggars of Melbourne are default drug and alcohol addicts. The deadly heroin epidemic of Melbourne has reached epidemic proportions.

Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia (3)

Colorful Dustbins and graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

I am not sure if Melbourne indeed is the most liveable city on Earth, as some reports suggested. However, there is no denying that it is a paradise for drug addicts for sure. I saw it for myself.

Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia (4)

A chef from a hole in the wall eatery discarding garbage. Colorful Dustbins and graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

SOME FACTS ABOUT THE DRUG AND

SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN MELBOURNE:

  • North Richmond station is the hub of all drug deals. In fact the intersection where tram, bus lines and train intersect is also called as the Melbourne’s dangerous ‘heroin rectangle’. The northern end of the suburb is the place most go to buy heroin. Watch out for used needles on the streets.
  • The heroin problem is a real crisis in Melbourne what with 190 people died in Victoria alone as a result of substance abuse. It is the highest number since 1990s. Source: an article in The Age on the 28th March 2017
  • Heroin is easy to overdose on. If you see someone in trouble due to drug overdose, you call immediately call an ambulance on 000. Be sure before calling, the person might as well be just sleeping on the roads.
  • The North Richmond Community Health centre dispenses up to 88,000 clean needles per month through the vending machine.
  • Thanks to the low prices and apathy from Government, there is no slowing down of the heroin problem of Melbourne.
  • As per a report by The Herald Sun, it can cost you just $17 to $20 (six pack of beer or pasta with a drink) a pop as compared to earlier $50. The cheap drugs are finding many takers.
  • Heroine related deaths occur in public places including phone booth (The red boxes), parks, streets, public toilets and even at the door of people’s home (horrors of the horror). This has been annoying the neighbors. Some of the residents are fed up with used syringes in their mailbox and doorsteps. The impressionable minds of kids are being exposed to the menace every day. And local residents are not happy about it. There has been a disturbing increase in young users.
  • During dry spells, addicts mix heroin with pills or liquid sleeping tablet.
  • It is not easy to quit the highly addictive heroin. The mental and physical trap that it is, the addict experiences severe physical pain and craving for more heroin when he or she tries to quit.
  • Government has been planning safe injecting rooms as a temporary solution to the ever growing heroin crisis in Melbourne, Australia.
Parliamanet Gardens Fountain Coles Melbourne Australia

Parliament gardens in the CBD area. The water fountain is maintained by Coles, the supermarket chain of Australia. Watch out for syringes on benches before you sit. Colorful Dustbins and graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse.

IS IT SAFE TO VISIT CBD AREA IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA?

If you are cautious and aware of the heroin crisis, there is no way you will be in trouble. It is a lively place, with modern amenities and a multi cultural feel to it. I can only speak from a male’s perspective though. I found it safe as long as you are alert and use common sense. Below are some safety tips for Melbourne:

  • Mind your own business.
  • Do not make an eye contact with drug addicts.
  • Do not wear open toed shoes. Watch your foot. Avoid stepping on syringes lying on road.
  • Do not click pictures or make videos of drug addicts. I did not. You might end up in serious trouble.
  • You might come across addicts lying unconscious on footpaths or walking in a zombie like trance, wiping blood from their arms. Stay away. Do not react. Keep walking calmly.
  • Watch out for discarded syringes left carelessly on public benches in parks, tram stations or streets.
  • Do not walk alone in night.
  • Call police if things go wrong.
  • Avoid striking a conversation with drug addicts.
  • Say no to drugs peddlers.

I hope these tips help you in preparing for dealing with the very visible drug menace that has gripped the Melbourne.

Do check out this heart wrenching viral plea of a mother trying to save her homeless son from drug addiction in Melbourne, Australia.

Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia (6)

Colorful Dustbins and graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

The view from my #SoulWindow is disgusting!

Note: This blog is based upon my own observations, conversations with locals and post travel research.

ALSO READ:

Top 10 reasons why you should visit Canberra

Why Harris Park in Sydney, Australia is Little India

Sex Sells in Pushkar fair, Rajasthan

Why penis art is painted on walls of Bhutanese cities and villages?

Drayang Dance Bar Trail- The open Secret of Bhutan

Dustbin Drugs Heroin Grafitti Street Art Hosier Lane Melbourne Australia (2)

Colorful Dustbins and graffiti Street Art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Heroin and Drug Abuse

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20 thoughts on “IS CBD MELBOURNE SAFE TO VISIT? THE HEROIN, DRUGS ADDICTION AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN MELBOURNE AND OTHER CRIMES. AUSTRALIA!

  1. Wow! I’ve not yet been to Australia, sky cannot comment on how common your Melbourne experience would be. It is very sad to hear that the drug problem is so bad there. I hooe the government soon does something to turn the situation around to help the addicts and clean up the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved how you have covered this serious topic in your blog post. Your restroom scene is really horrifying and sad too as it was your first day and you encountered something unimaginable. But it is good you are bringing light to such pitiable situation and making people aware of what they neglect though they are seeing it every day. I too neglected same situations and scenes when I was in Melbourne. Every city has dark side but not many people talk about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an insight! Your story in the toilet 🚽 is sad, funny, disgusting and oxymoron at the same time! I had no idea about this problem in Melbourne.. you expect it in Latin America probably but there? Thanks for sharing your observation outcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm…interesting post. I had read about the drug issues in Melbourne but not to the extent that your stories bring it alive. I am surprised that the local govt has not been able to curb the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Damn, this is NOT the picture I had of Melbourne, not at all. Just reading the description of the incident that happened in the public loo scared me a little. I can only imagine how it must’ve been for you, especially because you were on a solo trip and it was your first day! I cannot believe that the heroine problem is so rampant and open that there are syringes lying around in the streets, falling out from the bins and the people are not even reacting to any of it! In fact I am glad to have come across this post because I am going to be visiting Melbourne in 6 months and I certainly don’t want to be caught off guard or land up in a scary situation like you did! Thanks for bringing this side of one of the most popular cities in the world, into light.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, that’s a story and a half. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh ( I have to say your toilet encounter made me giggle) or be horrified! I didn’t see this side at all when I visited Melbourne but it was a long time ago and I do tend to travel with rose-tinted glasses. I hope your adventures got better as you travelled 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a shame! So very true that most travel sites don’t cover the less pleasant side of tourism. I fear that the opioid epidemic is becoming more prevalent every where, not just Melbourne.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg, the whole bathroom scenario sounds scary and horrific! I’m really surprised that drug scene is so bad in Melbourne. I really hope they get in control soon, have heard so many good things about the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is astonishing and not sure it represents the true spirit of Melbourne. I have always understood Australia as a country to be very strict on any illegal activities even from as small as importing fruits and vegetables so this is a complete surprise. Thanks for raising g this but do not think it’s what Australia represents.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Unfortunately most beautiful cities today also have an ugly side. It always makes me sad to see all the homeless people and parts of towns where you actually have to be careful at. It is definitely a good idea to get familiar with the good and bad parts of the cities before visiting.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It sounds quite a horrible first experience on arrival in Australia! I’m curious how you could identify him as “a white” just from his accent, when you never saw him? You know that many of us who are second or third generation immigrants into countries such as Australia, UK etc are brown but have the exact same accent as any other loca, white or otherwise? Other than that, great piece about something we don’t usually read about.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your post takes a look at the not so nice side of travel, but yet important one. It is a worldwide issue that not many address and just avoid. Thank you for bringing this to light.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow this is definitely a totally different side to Melbourne than what you usually read about the place. What a totally scary experience to have as soon as you first arrive to Melbourne, the first impression was really terrifying. The tips are fantastic, as travelers should definitely practice these not only when in Melbourne but when traveling in many other places.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m glad you shared this post to create an awareness about the drug abuse in Melbourne. I wasn’t aware of this dark side of the city. This information is terrifying and equally heart rending. A beautiful city is falling prey to continuous drug addiction and there is no way out. I feel bad for the locals and their children who are suffering because of this (finding syringes in one’s mailbox and at the doorstep). Thanks for sharing the safety tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Surprising to see this horrifying dark side of beautiful Australia. Your tips and personal experiences will help any first-time visitors. Some actions really should be taken by the government there rather than leave it to like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you so much for this post! I always feel like blogs present only the “nice” side of every trip (mine included, so it’s said in a judgmental way), but we can have all kind of surprises when you travel. I would literally been so horrified by that first encounter… I would have most likely lost all my interest for the city.
    I, myself, always take care and I am paying attention to my surroundings, especially when it is in a place known for drug consumption or dealing. I had friends who were addicted and unfortunately I know some of the things that you are telling about in the post.
    I hope you did see a brighter side of Melbourne too!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is a very candid post. A reality check of Melbourne. It is heartening to see you presenting the underbelly of Melbourne with no holds barred. Makes for interesting reading and introspection, especially for Indians who crib about infrastructure here.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There’s nothing quite like telling us about “your” experience as opposed to the gushy posts that most bloggers tend to write about. I have given up reading a lot of travel blogs for that very reason. I like the good and the bad because no place is perfect. I intend to mention it on my Greece post which l touched on as part of my first impression. 88,000 needles per month is pretty high and brings back my pharmacist days when drug addicts would come up with the most ridiculous excuses for needing syringes. What wasted lives, sad. I visited Sydney many, many years ago and it was quite bland compared to this, but did the see the red light district :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Very interesting post. I’ve heard of Melbourne of course, but I’ve never heard of it in connection to a worrying high amount of drug use! It’s awfully sad and pretty depressing.
    Well done for writing the truth and telling the story of your personal impressions.

    Liked by 1 person

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