The Waiting Game Lena is a 24 year old drug addict and sex worker. She lives in the industrial city of Dneprodzherzhinsk, Ukraine, a city with few opportunities, high unemployment rates and terrible pollution. At age 17, Lena started taking drugs out of boredom and curiosity. She subsequently became an addict and now her every day life is characterized by questions of where she’s going to get her drugs from and how she’s going to pay? On this particular day, Lena has not had a single ‘hit’. She has reached the point of despair. She has managed to track down her friend Alonya but before Lena can get her drugs Alonya wants to go to the hospital to inject her boyfriend with heroin. Lena goes to the hospital and waits for several hours. She suffers terribly and complains that Alonya is taking her time because she already had a ‘hit’ early in the morning and is in no rush. She agonizes over how much time is passing. She screams and shouts believing that her friend has stolen the money for the drugs. After several hours Alonya returns to the car. They go to a friend’s apartment to wait. Lena fights with Alonya and curses her. Alonya explains that they have to wait to get a call from the drug dealers. A very long hour passes with Lena cradling herself trying to find some comfort. A call comes in and it’s the dealers. Heroin has been secured and within moments Lena prepares to inject herself in the groin. Lena injects here as she does not want any puncture wounds on her arms as this will scare away her clients. She injects herself and sits on the edge of the bed waiting for it to ‘kick-in’. The moment the drug reaches Lena’s system she changes and all the despair she displayed throughout the day disappears. Lena has overcome so many obstacles to reach this point but, as soon as the drug wears off the vicious cycle will start once again. There are few resources to assist women like Lena in the Ukraine.