I am a freelance photographer and visual artist based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia working with National Geographic Russia, VICE UK/USA, De Volkskrant, Takie Dela, Meduza, Novaya Gazeta, others. My photographic practice primarily focuses on the...
Hetauda is a small city located to the west of the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. Every third man here is a drug addict. According to UN statistics, 70% of the male population takes heroin or crack on a daily basis. Due to the lack of jobs in the city, an adequate rehab clinic and psychological support, addicts constantly relapse into addiction, even if they decide to quit.
In Kathmandu I documented the life of the Saarathi clinic, which practices methadone substitution therapy for a month. It is a palliative treatment for drug addiction caused by the use of opioids (such as heroin) by regularly prescribing methadone to replace the drug used by an addict. The therapy gradually helps to quit the opioid, which takes about two years, and also eliminates the risk of HIV transmission through used needles, since it is administered orally. Therapy is sorely lacking in Nepal's regions and smaller communities due to lack of funding. Addicts come to the clinic every day for methadone and psychological help. Each of them walks the line between life and death. Everyone wants to overcome addiction. This tension hangs in the air, in every gesture and look of these people.