DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — Every morning, hundreds of Tanzanians make their daily sojourn to a breezy open-air methadone clinic at Muhimbili National Hospital. Some travel on overcrowded local buses, and others walk for hours in Dar es Salaam’s sweltering heat.
One by one, the patients are called to a window, where a nurse behind a metal grate offers a plastic cup filled with liquid methadone.
The same year, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
Her partner supported the family, she said, by conning people into believing he was a fortuneteller.
Nearly 60 percent of these users may live in Tanzania, UNODC believes, with a heavy concentration in the port city of Dar es Salaam.
These alarming statistics are partially due to a worrying practice called flashblood, in which a user shoots up heroin, draws a syringe of blood and gives the full needle to a fellow user.
If someone is short on cash, users say that injecting heroin-laced blood can give a mild high.
Soon after heroin entered Dar es Salaam in the 1990s, its cruder form — brown instead of white — snaked its way into bustling urban neighborhoods like Temeke, where Hamadi lives.
A dose of brown heroin, known on the street as brownie, costs as little as a dollar.