Meet Myanmar’s Anti-Drug Squad

Myitkyina, Myanmar –
Myitkyina, the capital of Myanmar’s most northern region, has been an important trading town between Burma, China, and India for centuries. And while trading hubs typically benefit all those within its radius, that prosperity really depends on what exactly is coming in.
Due to its startlingly low-cost and availability, many of the Kachin people are suffering from an opium epidemic. Just how bad has it gotten? It’s estimated that one in every household uses heroin on a regular basis. In response, “Pat Jasan” — a coalition of local Baptist, Catholic and other Protestant churches — declared their own version of “D-Day” on April 25h, 2014. This signified the launch of a community-based organization with the lofty goal of “eradicating all drugs from the Kachin population.” Yet as photojournalist David Shaw discovered, sometimes these methods of rehabilitation are less than orthodox.

Meet Myanmar’s Anti-Drug Squad

Myitkyina, the capital of Myanmar’s most northern region, has been an important trading town between Burma, China, and India for centuries. And while trading hubs typically benefit all those within its radius, that prosperity really depends on what exactly is coming in.

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