Haji Said is a 40 year old farmer, who started smoking heroin in 1985. He smokes in rolled paper/emptied cigarette casing inhaling the vapors it creates.
Rock form heroin as purchased in Zanzibar
Said Hamiz, has been using for nearly 10 years, after a friend from Greece introduced him to it. He was working steadily in the soap industry, but slowly stopped showing up for work as the addiction took hold.
Here, he smokes heroin using a piece of heated aluminum foil to liquify it, then inhaling the vapor/steam created.
Men eye the mornings bounty.
Users here generally begin to congregate around 9 am each morning as there is only a 5-6 hour window before they begin to feel ill without heroin in their system.
Mohammed Sayed, (white shirt) 45, has been smoking heroin for nearly 15 years. His best friend Haji (at right) introduced him to it, which caused a rift between them after Mohammed became addicted.
Ali Rajabu, 36years old, prefers to snort the drug. When he started using, he was with good friends. He thought they were going outside to smoke cigarettes but they instead handed him a pipe with unga (heroin).
Ali is wearing the traditional Kanzu that men wear before praying at mosque. He wears it to pay respect during Ramadhan, but has not fasted though it is a requirement for Muslims.
Heroin users are often typified by being "on the nod". The nod is a catatonic state where users lose concentration of their immediate surroundings and are in a state reminiscent of sleep, though aware.
Photographed here is "Kudemba" a famous dope house on the island.
Minutes before his first hit of the day.
Preparation over an open fire
Heating heroin over an aluminum tin. The vapor is then inhaled through a straw, shown here
Ali Makanika, 35 years old, is a cassava farmer. He is divorced with 3 children and lives with his mother.
In order to make money he hustles tourists, acting as an informal guide around town. He can earns the equivalent of $15 per day to feed his addiction.
Addicts chew or smoke marijuana leaf throughout the day to help engage their appetites, which wanes with prolonged heroin use
Khamis Maxine, 41 years old, has been smoking since 1985. His brother came from Pakistan to visit and brought it with him. It looked fun, so Khamis thought he'd try it, not realizing how bad the effects were going to be.
Heroin being sucked into rolled paper as preparation before smoking
Jabir Abdallah started using 10 years ago. His life was difficult so he wanted the heroin to help him forget, though he didn't fully realize how addictive it would be.
Still he loves being high ,and thinks it is the best feeling ever, as memories come back to him when he's not smoking, so will continue because of the peace it affords him