Sitting on the dangerous Myanmar border is an Indian village of head-hunters with an opium addiction so pervasive a third of the population smoke the drug with many having to sell their possessions to fund the habit and 90% have used the substance.
The situation is so bad in Longwa, children are left without the attention of their fathers because the men spend long hours smoking opium, they don’t have their mothers around either because the women, who have avoided the habit, have to tend to the rice and vegetable farms.
What are the authorities doing about it you ask? Well, the village chief Tonye Phawang and his caretakers spend all day smoking opium.
Australian photographer traveled to the village after hearing tales of headhunting which was practiced there until the 1960s but instead he met a village battling longterm opium addiction, the habit has corroded sociopolitical life in the village.
While the Indian government is taking steps to eradicate the problem, opium is readily available through Myanmar – the second largest opium producer in the world.
Opium is a highly addictive narcotic drug acquired in the dried latex form from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) seed pod.