Issue

Drug Crises

Militant Islamists escort drug convoys through northern Mali in exchange for hefty payments. The U.S. military and Honduran authorities use commando-style tactics to catch traffickers in the remote jungles of La Moskitia. A 15-year old from Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, chooses the clarinet over drugs after dropping out of school twice.

Drug Crises tells of men, women, and children who risk their lives—as drug users, traffickers, smugglers, and enforcement agents. You will find searing portraits of those who suffer from addiction, their family members, and loved ones. These are stories not only of lives lost and opportunities missed, but also of the fear and disruption that can overwhelm a community.

Pulitzer Center journalists expose corruption, extortion, and murder in an often violent war on drugs, fought in all corners of the globe, in Cuba and Crimea, in Bolivia and Burma, and from the Philippines to Tajikistan. They cover various recovery programs, such as opioid substitution therapy, as well as policy debates involving the roles of drug enforcement agents, the police, the military, and government. And they ask important questions: Are drug users criminals or patients in need of medical treatment?

 

Drug Crises

An Opioid Addiction, and an Australian’s Battle to Survive

An Australian man was prescribed opioids after a routine wisdom teeth surgery. Addiction soon followed, including countless overdoses. His mother, who raised him alone, has done everything she can to help him, but he keeps returning to prescription pills, which Australia's weak regulations make easy to get.

Church vs. State

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal but popular war on drugs has forced the Catholic Church to ask itself a defining question: What is its responsibility under an immoral regime?

El Salvador's Lawyer for the Dead

In El Salvador, the murder capital of the world, authorities are failing to combat a brutal gang war that is driving a mass exodus out of the country.

Duterte and the Philippines

A new president is elected in the Philippines on a promise that he will crack down on drugs, dealers and users. Thousands of poor people have already been killed.

Philippines: The Execution Beat

Thousands of people have been executed on the streets of the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his all-out war on drugs. But shooting his way out of the problem is taking a heavy toll.

The “War on Drugs” in South America

US-led prohibition has exacted a high toll in Latin America. This project explores the impacts on communities in Bolivia and Paraguay, whose principal cash crops are coca and cannabis respectively.

North India's Heroin Epidemic

The India-Pakistan border overflows with heroin. Journalist Michael Edison Hayden and photographer Sami Siva report from the afflicted communities to find out what, if anything, can be done about it.

Meet the Journalist: Nate Tabak

How did a little village in Albania come be known as Europe's unofficial marijuana capital? Nate Tabak discusses his project about Lazarat, and the rise and fall of its marijuana business.

Meet the Journalist: James Fenton

James Fenton discusses reporting on President Duterte's violent war on drugs in the Philippines. The number of casualties in a 7-month period reached 7,000 following the president's election.