Heath and Drugs (Myanmar)
In Kachin State, Myanmar, a religious militia, the "Pat Jasan", destroys opium fields and arrests consumers and drug dealers, who are then sent to Pat Jasan-run detention and rehabilitation centers for several months. In these camps, Bible studies are supposed to cure the “inmates-students” and God’s word must suffice (see portfolio). Thus, methadone, a synthetic opiate,--used as a substitute for heroin in the rare Burmese government rehab centers--is prohibited. Despite a local HIV prevalence rate of about 30 percent amongst heroin addicts, Pat Jasan disagree with NGO’s harm reduction programs, such as distribution of sterile syringes, accused of fueling drug use. This portoflio explores the alternatives to religious rehab camps in the war on drugs in Kachin state.