These days, death is often at the door. Death by bullet, death by blood.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s “drug war” has left thousands dead at the hands of police, but it is also threatening lives in a different way.

Front-line advocates in this city in the central Philippines say the violent anti-drug campaign is pushing users ever further underground, fueling the spread of disease by stopping efforts to get them clean needles.

Those who work with injection drug users say they are being ­harassed, even arrested, while ­trying to make their rounds.

“The police are paranoid, so we are having trouble reaching ­people,” said an outreach worker for a community group that distributes clean needles. He gave only his nickname, Panki, for fear of being linked in any way to drugs.

Experts say the health effects of the violent campaign may be felt for years to come.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia