A Blue Hmong opium addict babysits her grandchildren while their parents work their fields. The sad reality of life in the northern Thai mountains when hilltribes like the Hmong cultivated opium poppy was that many elders, both men and women, became addicts. Often they started by using the drug to relieve pain, as it was effective and the only option in remote villages. As long as the families grew poppy the elderly addicts were a supportable burden. Unlike in the west, the addicts were not ostracised, and often maintained positions of respect within their communities.