All posts tagged: thailand

’Yaba’ Use Still on the Rise in Southeast Asia

Yaba tablets, which are a combination of methamphetamine and caffeine, have been on the scene in Thailand for years. The drug’s popularity has now spread and countries throughout Southeast Asia and beyond are seeing increased yaba consumption, addiction, manufacturing, and related crime. Yaba, which means ‘crazy drug’ in Thai, can be taken orally or melted and inhaled and gives users increased energy, alertness, and a sense of euphoria. Often the pills are laced with fruity or vanilla flavouring, masking the nasty chemical compound found inside. The active ingredient methamphetamine is highly addictive, and with regular use pleasurable feelings dissipate and are replaced with a host of negative effects including violent behaviour, paranoia, and acute psychosis. The Rise of Yaba in Asia Yaba has long been popular in the poorer Mekong region countries of Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia, but its use has now spread to wealthier countries such as South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. As a stimulant, the drug’s allure is similar to that of cocaine and appeals to people in all socioeconomic positions. …

Alcohol Sales in Asia Increasing Faster than GDP

Religious, social, and cultural constraints have long kept Asia’s rate of alcohol consumption—and alcohol related harms such as alcoholism—lower than that of other regions. However things are changing and the alcohol industry now sees the biggest potential growth in sales resting in Asia. Regional economies are growing fast and consumers, who are eager to emulate Western drinking habits, want to drink more and more imported liquor rather than local beverages. Reports indicate that the Asia-Pacific region will contribute to more than 70% of global beer growth over the next five years, and in some places increases in alcohol sales are already far outpacing increases in GDP. Vietnam alone has seen beer sales increase at double the rate of GDP growth in the past 5 years. Some of the world’s largest brewing companies are setting up shop in places like Yangon, Myanmar and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in anticipation of the projected growth. Pernod Ricard—owner of some of the world’s most famous alcohol brands – has already become an industry leader in Asia and currently makes …

synthetic drugs asia

UN: Little Progress Against Asia’s Booming Synthetic Drugs Trade

Synthetic drugs are once again in the spotlight in East and Southeast Asia. The UN has shared their growing concern over the production and distribution of synthetic drugs from the area. Recently, there have been several deaths around the world caused by young people taking ecstasy, or ‘Molly’, which they believed was pure MDMA – but instead, these pills are more and more frequently being made with synthetic chemicals. And, the majority of these often deadly chemicals are coming from Asia. Read on to find out how the UN will attempt to tackle this crisis:

Substance Abuse Rehab from Around the World: Thailand and Bangladesh in the News

The UN’s World Drug Report 2012 documented the ever-increasing drug abuse throughout Asia, with particular emphasis on the large market in South Asia. Media coverage has reinforced the area’s long-standing problem, with particular attention on war-torn regions and youth populations. Today, I came across two such stories and the substance abuse rehab that has arisen in response – one governmental, one private. The New York Times recently reported on the conflict-ridden southern provinces of Thailand, and its battle with kratom, a drug cocktail engineered from the leaves of a local tree. A video runs alongside the article, and in it you can see government-funded substance abuse rehab centres, the scene alarmingly militaristic as young people stand in rigid lines and shout promises to lead drug-free lives. Local police burn piles upon piles of contraband, as civilians look on. The most startling information? Ninety-four percent of a surveyed 1,000 youths in the provinces reported abusing the drug regularly. Though the story is less recent than Thailand’s (it aired in 2009), a short documentary entitled Letters From …