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SOUTH VIETNAM. Town of Phucat. 1971. The Drug problem with American GI’s in Vietnam. In an Amnesty house where an addict is being given first-aid.

In 1971, the 16th year of the Vietnam War, two congressmen, Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinois, made a discovery that stunned the American public. While visiting the troops in Vietnam, the two congressmen discovered that over 15 percent of US soldiers had developed an addiction to heroin. (Later research, which tested every American soldier in Vietnam for heroin addiction, would reveal that 40 percent of servicemen had tried heroin and nearly 20 percent were addicted.) The discovery shocked the American public and led to a flurry of activity in Washington.

Photograph: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos

SOUTH VIETNAM. Town of Da Nang. At the Airport. 1971. The Drug problem with American GI’s in Vietnam. Two American soldiers under the influence of drugs.

In 1971, the 16th year of the Vietnam War, two congressmen, Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinois, made a discovery that stunned the American public. While visiting the troops in Vietnam, the two congressmen discovered that over 15 percent of US soldiers had developed an addiction to heroin. (Later research, which tested every American soldier in Vietnam for heroin addiction, would reveal that 40 percent of servicemen had tried heroin and nearly 20 percent were addicted.) The discovery shocked the American public and led to a flurry of activity in Washington.

Photograph: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos