In Scottish photographer and ex-heroin addict Graham MacIndoe’s latest series “All In—Buying Into the Drug Trade,” the artist chose to focus on an aspect of drug usage that doesn’t often surface in media, but one that is easily relatable: branding. 

The black market is a market more than just in name; its promotion techniques are the same ones employed by legit producers. Dealers package and brand their drugs in a way that makes them unique and memorable, setting them apart from the competition. Heroin bags have become disposable advertisements, depicting pop culture references and eye-catching typography. The branding reflects a choose-your-own-adventure approach. If you’re feeling dangerous, pick up a 9 Lives or Dead Medicine. If you’re looking for euphoria, there’s High Life or True Romance.

Drugs can represent the promise of a special desire-satisfaction. Likewise, advertisements aim to tempt people by tapping into their desire-seeking drives. MacIndoe’s photographs capture the powerful effect these forces can have when combined.

“These images are a reminder of both the power of desire and the promises we as consumers want to believe will somehow change our lives,” says MacIndoe.

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[via Huffington Post]