Yasser, 25, has to drive 20km on the Alexandria highway to ensure his almost daily supply. One sharp turn to the left puts him on the series of unpaved roads that take him to his dealer.
Upon arriving, he finds a man dressed in Bedouin clothing armed with a rifle guarding two cars, one of which has an open trunk filled with bricks of heroin.
Yasser parks his car alongside 10 others packed with young men sharing syringes. He knows the meeting point is temporary.
"The place where dealers and users meet changes every month or so, and when they do, people learn of these new meeting points by word of mouth ... so this stuff [heroin] is really not that hard to find," he says.
Yasser represents the growing number of Egyptian youth who have fallen prey to drug abuse; he began using heroin three years ago.
According to Egypt's National Council on Fighting and Treating Addiction (NCFTA), at least 8.5 per cent of the country's population, or six million people, are addicted to narcotics.
The majority of them are between 15 to 25 years old and the number of users is growing rapidly.
"I can't physically function without it," Yasser says, describing the drug rush as a pervasive warm and pleasurable feeling. But the sensation is temporary and comes at a price.
Shortly afterwards, he will succumb to the usual symptoms heroin addicts experience during withdrawal - nausea, itching, constipation and emotional emptiness.
"If I didn't take it, I would spend all day aching in bed, increasing my doses to avoid the pain that came with withdrawal... and besides, it's not like I had to travel that far to obtain my supply anyway," he says.
Yasser tried his best to hide his addiction from family and close friends, but it was only a matter of time before they found out. His parents grew suspicious of his unusual sleeping patterns and one too many trips to the bathroom to crush and sniff the drug. They surprised him with a drug test that came out positive.
Source: Al Jazeera (English)