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Musings: India’s New Drug Subculture

Wasim, 16, lies on the floor of the family’s living quarter, his hands and feet tied behind his back, while one of his younger brothers watches. His mother tied him up, with the help of a neighbor, after arguing about money for drugs. Wasim is the oldest of five children, living in one of the many slum settlements in Delhi.

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Musings: India’s New Drug Subculture

A boy stands amidst the evening rush on a main road. The close-by Azadpur Mandi, one of India's largest vegetable and fruit wholesale markets, attracts thousands of people every day, making it an ideal ground for both legal and illegal trafficking. The area is well-known for drug abuse and drug marketing.

Musings: India’s New Drug Subculture

A young girl, left, searches for something in a cupboard drawer, while her father’s friend, Pakori, injects drugs.

Musings: India’s New Drug Subculture

A 16-year-old boy prepares one of his daily injections. A so-called “set”, consisting of an ampule of Buprenorphine (semi-synthetic opioid), an ampule of Diazepam (Valium), an ampule of Avil (an antihistamine,) and two disposable syringes is sold for 50 rupees—a little less than $1. Regular customers of the local pharmacies sometimes even get a discount or an extra strong painkiller tablet for free

Musings: India’s New Drug Subculture

Mohammed, a 15-year-old addict, watches closely while an older addict prepares an injection. For young addicts the relationships to the older and more experienced users can mean safety and danger at the same time. Crime and violence among the users is quite common.