Asia: Let Them Shoot Smack

Heroin, once mostly an export, is now a scourge at home

It is well after the noon hour in the sprawling urban slum where 22-year-old Mali lives. Clothes hang on a nearby line, and small children play in the dusty path. Squatting on a doorstep, Mali (a pseudonym) lifts her scarred right arm and feels for a usable vein. No one seems to notice as she grips one end of a yellow plastic cord in her teeth and winds the other end tightly around her arm, readying it for the needle. It could be the South Bronx, East Los Angeles, Amsterdam...

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