UN Report Confirms what We Already Knew: Meth is a Big Problem in Thailand

 | Thu 27 Jun 2013 14:17 ICT

Citynews – As CityNews has reported over the past couple of years, the production, sale and use of methamphetamine in Chiang Mai and the rest of Thailand has been on the rise. 

Since the war on drugs – and its huge budgets – started, drug use and trafficking is as bad as ever

There have been more busts, arrests and violence in what experts have confirmed is a “large increase” in the production, distribution and abuse of methamphetamine (aka meth, ice, crystal or yaba), particularly over the last three years.

Although Thailand itself isn’t deemed by the United Nations as a particularly unstable country, its neighbouring and less developed countries such as Myanmar have been labelled as problematic in the latest World Drug Report – an annual report conducted by the UN. Myanmar has been identified as the core source of meth for Thailand and Laos too, which has also seen a drastic rise in the use of this dangerous drug (the Thai name of which, ‘yaba’, means ‘crazy drug’).

Thailand has become a hub for the transport and trafficking of meth onto the global market – towards the West and Africa, that is. Back in April we reported the seizure of 400,000 methamphetamine pills from Hmong tribesmen in the Mae Ai district, this revealing the connection between the North of Thailand, tribal communities and trafficking. On the other hand, Citynews also discovered last year that students had been exploiting the world of social networking to sell drugs online, via Facebook.

Jeremy Douglas, who is Southeast Asia’s UNODC representative, has stated in a press release that “Increases in seizures and use of opiates and methamphetamine throughout Southeast Asia – and the diversification of smuggling routes – indicate the drug economy is growing.” 

Citynews releases nearly weekly reports regarding the problem of methamphetamine in Chiang Mai, and as such the “drug economy” issue that Douglas talks of is as much a problem in the North as it is the rest of Thailand and Southeast Asia as a whole.