Primarily a response to drug prohibition laws and policies, the drug subculture is a socially constructed “culture of survival” in which the orientation and intensity of survival behaviors depend largely on external social pressures. The sharing and the hustling are normal behaviors under the extreme circumstances of the war on drugs. Part of individual and communal survival strategies, they can be compared with behaviors in similar stressful situations of oppression and scarcity, as witnessed during periods of famine or times of war and in prisons and concentration camps. Adaptive responses, such
as sharing drugs and sequential, multi-person use of needles, are part of a collective strategy in development since the passing of the Harrison Narcotics Act in the United States in 1914. Once, such drug-sharing behaviors were highly functional; with the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, they turned deadly.