India is known as “The Pharmacy of the Third World” because it is one of the biggest producers of generic drugs worldwide. Although many of these pills are destined for overseas locations, widespread production means there is a vast variety of high-quality, affordable medications that are made locally available. For millions, these pharmaceuticals give people the chance to treat their illnesses that they would otherwise be forced to suffer through.

For many more, the generic drugs have the opposite effect. Thanks to a lack of monitoring, widespread corruption and greed on the side of the pharmacists, prescription drug abuse is a burgeoning epidemic in India. These medicines, which are made to heal, are increasingly falling into the wrong hands.

Jahangirpuri, a town on the outskirts of New Delhi, stands as a disturbing example for the consequences of generic drug abuse. Lives are ruined, families are ripped apart…while the problem remains practically unknown to the outside world.

—Enrico Fabian

Editor’s Note: This series was a finalist in the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2014.