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Thailand's Crystal Meth Use Likely To Spread In 2011: Narcotics Control Board

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Thailand's crystal meth use likely to spread in 2011: Narcotics Control Board

BANGKOK, Jan 2 – Thailand's struggle with rising drug use will continue in 2011 with crystal methamphetamine likely to spread as the authorities plan a closer watch over border areas to prevent drug smuggling during the New Year, according to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

The ONCB will keep an eye on crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, which seems to be spreading this year as statistics show increased usage of ice during 2010 compared to 2009. Crystal meth is 90 per cent pure additive substance, causing easy addiction and severe impact on drug users, ONCB Deputy Secretary-General Permpong Chaovalit said.

Eighty per cent of illegal drugs came from three provinces--Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son-- located near the drug production bases, he said. Thailand's northern and northeastern borders have been closely monitored, and the ONCB has worked with security agencies to set up checkpoints at border as it believed that in 2011 more drugs will be smuggled into the country there.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban will meet with governors nationwide on Jan 14 on operations to suppress illegal drugs.

Under the government’s strategies, it aims to block transit routes for drugs, to crack down on drug smuggling and to treat drug addicts' habits to decrease the demand for illegal drugs, Mr Suthep said.

Each agency must participate in drug suppression operations and work efficiency must be improved, he said. The current penalties are the highest that can be applied, so they will not be heightened, the deputy prime minister said.

Mr Suthep added that he ordered screening that will include monitoring government officials or politicians involved in illegal drug trafficking and that no one will be able to evade punishment. (MCOT online news)

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-- TNA 2011-01-02

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Can someone outline the social realities of "ice" usage in Thailand?

For example, what is the usual money cost per day for addicts?

Assuming if high, that many would need to turn to crime.

Are there major differences in Thai usage patterns than western countries?

What are the most typical delivery systems for using the drug in Thailand? Obviously, with injections you get into HIV risk with that.

Who controls the trade here? Mafia? Corrupt officials? Foreign mafia?

Personally, I am rather libertarian when it comes to soft substances like marijuana, but I have seen crystal kill many people in so many ways, it does seem an aggressive response makes sense. (But not as aggressive as Thaksin's.)

One thing I would suggest may help with educating young people about this. Of course young people naturally feel immortal and naturally rebel against adults telling them trite things like Just Say No. However, one thing they do respond to is vanity! For example, a national ad and education campaign to graphically illustrate how meth addiction rapidly AGES people and makes them look like death boiled over. What I am saying is that young people respond better to messages saying something makes them LOOK really bad as opposed to saying something kills them. This kind of vanity message anyway has been effective in the US against youth cigarette smoking.

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Can someone outline the social realities of "ice" usage in Thailand?

For example, what is the usual money cost per day for addicts?

Assuming if high, that many would need to turn to crime.

Are there major differences in Thai usage patterns than western countries?

What are the most typical delivery systems for using the drug in Thailand? Obviously, with injections you get into HIV risk with that.

Who controls the trade here? Mafia? Corrupt officials? Foreign mafia?

Personally, I am rather libertarian when it comes to soft substances like marijuana, but I have seen crystal kill many people in so many ways, it does seem an aggressive response makes sense. (But not as aggressive as Thaksin's.)

One thing I would suggest may help with educating young people about this. Of course young people naturally feel immortal and naturally rebel against adults telling them trite things like Just Say No. However, one thing they do respond to is vanity! For example, a national ad and education campaign to graphically illustrate how meth addiction rapidly AGES people and makes them look like death boiled over. What I am saying is that young people respond better to messages saying something makes them LOOK really bad as opposed to saying something kills them. This kind of vanity message anyway has been effective in the US against youth cigarette smoking.

Daily cost: Depends on usage-patterns and unlike what you see in news, propaganda or movies, a LOT of people use it in-frequently. I.e. not every day, often some day/days per week. One gram is ~3500 Baht. How far does that last? A 'normal' user might have it last some 3 days, a heavy 'all day and night smoker' will take that in one day.

Most people I know that use it have a decent up to high paid job from the start. That includes both business owners, down-town night taxi-drivers, massage girls and freelancers...

Usage patterns compared to the US: Cannot say really, as we only see the really bad cases in the US on Cops etc - the 'normal' usage is rarely known - by anyone. And any data will be highly anecdotal due to the drugs being illegal to consume.

Common delivery method: Smoking via bong-like contraption.

Who controls the trade: Well, seeing as the amount that is both made here by huge manufacturers, smaller gangs and smuggled in...it is not so much who controls it, unless you count that not everyone is equal targets for the Police in some areas.

Vanity plea: I have yet to see anyone die from the addiction - more likely the hard life-style that comes from over-usage. I have seen the same - but in much higher number - early aging by alcoholics both here and back home. Besides, for some reason many report that their skin looks tighter, younger, when using Ice, as oppose to for example Cocaine...giving it two reasons why it is a preferred drug by models and massage girls. The other being that it inhibits your urge to eat, as any amphetamine-based drug does.

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Strange, you claim to know people who've suffered from this drugs, yet you don't have any knowledge about its rituals?

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Strange, you claim to know people who've suffered from this drugs, yet you don't have any knowledge about its rituals?

If you're asking me, yes I've known some addicts in the US years ago. It has been huge among American gay men ("tina"). Only one close friend who was into it though, and he hung himself from a rope on a Murphy bed. If I meet any Thais I suspect of speed usage (I had assumed it was yaba until recently) and I certainly have met such Thais, I just avoid them completely. Are my questions, about the modern situation in THAILAND, still that "strange" to you?

About the alcohol comment, yes, that kills too. But it is still my feeling that meth is much more predictably totally addictive than booze. Most people who take some drinks don't seem to be become addicts.

I also get the point that the side effects of the addiction are what mostly kills, rather than the drug itself usually, overdoses, etc.

BTW, what's the difference between yaba and ice?

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Can someone outline the social realities of "ice" usage in Thailand?

For example, what is the usual money cost per day for addicts?

Assuming if high, that many would need to turn to crime.

Are there major differences in Thai usage patterns than western countries?

What are the most typical delivery systems for using the drug in Thailand? Obviously, with injections you get into HIV risk with that.

Who controls the trade here? Mafia? Corrupt officials? Foreign mafia?

Personally, I am rather libertarian when it comes to soft substances like marijuana, but I have seen crystal kill many people in so many ways, it does seem an aggressive response makes sense. (But not as aggressive as Thaksin's.)

One thing I would suggest may help with educating young people about this. Of course young people naturally feel immortal and naturally rebel against adults telling them trite things like Just Say No. However, one thing they do respond to is vanity! For example, a national ad and education campaign to graphically illustrate how meth addiction rapidly AGES people and makes them look like death boiled over. What I am saying is that young people respond better to messages saying something makes them LOOK really bad as opposed to saying something kills them. This kind of vanity message anyway has been effective in the US against youth cigarette smoking.

As far as your comments on drug education and Thai vanity go, I totally agree ....well said jingthing....in the U.S. you get the 'before and after' pictures showing the affects of crystal meth.....if only they'd do the same here, I really don't understand why the Thai Govt don't do the same , especially considering the fact that they are working together with the DEA in BKK and Chiang Mai.

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Apollo13>> It doesn't work with cigarettes [to post graphic images] nor will it work as posters saying 'if you touch any drugs you will look like this' - since both are hyperbolic edge-cases.

Most people that smoke cigarettes don't get cancer. Nor do most people of drugs become heavy abusers that end up homeless, endless hunting the dragon between the hand-jobs in the local park.

If any information-campaigns shall be carried out they should be factual, not propaganda-styled. Or it will have backlashes when the kids grow up and realize that one doesn't become hooked after smoking a joint...something we were warned against as schoolkids. "And if they lied about that, how much else did they lie about?"

Jingthing>> There is a decent difference between Yaba and Ice. Including the cost, side-effects, class-usage and common delivery method.

Yaba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ya_ba

Ice, or 'Crystal Meth' as it is actually called; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine

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"Most people that smoke cigarettes don't get cancer. Nor do most people of drugs become heavy abusers that end up homeless, endless hunting the dragon between the hand-jobs in the local park".(TAWP).....maybe you're right, but I have my doubts regarding your statement about ciggies and cancer. Where did you get the info from.....Philip Morris ? As for drug abuse, it depends on the drug, the person, and that person's social situation but continued heavy crystal meth use can turn intelligent people into conspiracy theory faked moon landings babbling wreckage....I've seen it.....very sad.

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"Most people that smoke cigarettes don't get cancer. Nor do most people of drugs become heavy abusers that end up homeless, endless hunting the dragon between the hand-jobs in the local park".(TAWP).....maybe you're right, but I have my doubts regarding your statement about ciggies and cancer. Where did you get the info from.....Philip Morris ? As for drug abuse, it depends on the drug, the person, and that person's social situation but continued heavy crystal meth use can turn intelligent people into conspiracy theory faked moon landings babbling wreckage....I've seen it.....very sad.

I get them from real world data and anecdotal experience.

I know x number of smokers. A very small minority have gotten any related cancer or issues sofar. Even if that includes one relative that passed away at the age of 50, directly due to her smoking 2 packs a day. Against all warnings.

I know y number of drug-users (since any use is usage, including illegal abuse of legal prescription medication, you all know a lot of them too...maybe you just haven't found out yet. From their numbers I can deduct the amount of people abusing, the amount of people getting secondary problems etc.

Most people using drugs go through life without others [outside immediate friends] never fiend out. Because they are not abusing. But some will do, yes.

But if you have data that a majority of smokers infact that cancer related to the smoking, please share, I am sure the General Surgeon would like to know it too.

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"I get them from real world data and anecdotal experience." (TAWP).......ok TAWP, you came with the statement, I doubted it, it's up to you to back up your claim, not me. Reveal your sources and data. Then check the data to see % of people with lung cancer, emphysema, arteriosclerosis, bowel cancer, that do\did smoke.

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"Most people that smoke cigarettes don't get cancer. Nor do most people of drugs become heavy abusers that end up homeless, endless hunting the dragon between the hand-jobs in the local park".(TAWP).....maybe you're right, but I have my doubts regarding your statement about ciggies and cancer. Where did you get the info from.....Philip Morris ? As for drug abuse, it depends on the drug, the person, and that person's social situation but continued heavy crystal meth use can turn intelligent people into conspiracy theory faked moon landings babbling wreckage....I've seen it.....very sad.

I get them from real world data and anecdotal experience.

I know x number of smokers. A very small minority have gotten any related cancer or issues sofar. Even if that includes one relative that passed away at the age of 50, directly due to her smoking 2 packs a day. Against all warnings.

I know y number of drug-users (since any use is usage, including illegal abuse of legal prescription medication, you all know a lot of them too...maybe you just haven't found out yet. From their numbers I can deduct the amount of people abusing, the amount of people getting secondary problems etc.

Most people using drugs go through life without others [outside immediate friends] never fiend out. Because they are not abusing. But some will do, yes.

But if you have data that a majority of smokers infact that cancer related to the smoking, please share, I am sure the General Surgeon would like to know it too.

" A very small minority have gotten any related cancer or issues sofar." sic

".....maybe you just haven't found out yet."

I have nothing more to add.

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Meth is not a nice drug. Although many may be occasional users, what % of those surveyed respond based on denial? Like alcoholism many are functional on meth however progressively deteriorate also like alcoholism. A hallmark of meth is skin problems. Self excoriation from believing there are insects.

Cigarettes cause a lot more damage and diseases other than/ in addition to cancer.

Some estimations place approx 10% of all drinkers as alcoholics, only 10% but represents a huge number. The addiction rate for meth is believed do be significatly higher than that of alcohol.

Signs and symptoms of methamphetamine use:

  • Cardiovascular:20,21,22,23,24,25
    • Chest pain, aortic dissection, myocardial ischemia/infarction
    • Palpitations, tachyarrhythmia
    • Dyspnea and edema
    • Hypertension

    [*]Central nervous system:26,27,28

    • Agitation, violent behavior, self-harm
    • Coma
    • New-onset seizure
    • Emotional lability, confusion, psychosis, paranoia, hypersexuality, and hallucinations
    • Headache

    [*]Respiratory:29,30,31

    • Dyspnea
    • Wheezing
    • Pneumothorax

    [*]Skin:32

    • Delusional parasitosis
    • Abscess, cellulitis

    [*]Gastrointestinal:13,33

    • Abdominal pain
    • Obstruction

    [*]Dental: Caries, peridental abscess34,35

Physical

  • Cardiovascular:
    • Tachycardia and hypertension is frequently observed.36
    • Atrial and ventricular arrhythmias may occur.36
    • Chest pain from cardiac ischemia and infarction following methamphetamine use has been reported. Patients are at risk because of accelerated atherosclerosis from chronic use. Acute aortic dissection or aneurysm has been associated with methamphetamine abuse.24,21
    • Hypotension may be observed with methamphetamine overdose with profound depletion of catecholamines.37
    • Acute and chronic cardiomyopathy results directly from methamphetamine cardiac toxicity and indirectly from chronic hypertension and ischemia. Intravenous use may result in endocarditis. Patients may present with dyspnea, edema, and other signs of acute congestive heart failure (CHF) exacerbation.38,22

    [*]Central nervous system:

    • New-onset seizures may occur from direct CNS methamphetamine toxicity.28
    • Acute and chronic methamphetamine exposure has been associated with a jerking, choreoathetoid movement disorder. These repetitive movements, hyperactivity, and inability to focus thought have been referred to as "tweaking."27
    • Headache and cerebrovascular accidents with focal neurologic deficits may be caused by hemorrhage or vasospasm, cerebral edema, and cerebral vasculitis.25
    • Acute psychosis, agitation, violence, and paranoia frequently results from alteration in CNS dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate pathways.39
    • Coma may result from depletion of catecholamine stores and/or concomitant ingestion of sedatives such as ethanol or narcotics.3

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/820918-overview

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Strange, you claim to know people who've suffered from this drugs, yet you don't have any knowledge about its rituals?

If you're asking me, yes I've known some addicts in the US years ago. It has been huge among American gay men ("tina"). Only one close friend who was into it though, and he hung himself from a rope on a Murphy bed. If I meet any Thais I suspect of speed usage (I had assumed it was yaba until recently) and I certainly have met such Thais, I just avoid them completely. Are my questions, about the modern situation in THAILAND, still that "strange" to you?

About the alcohol comment, yes, that kills too. But it is still my feeling that meth is much more predictably totally addictive than booze. Most people who take some drinks don't seem to be become addicts.

I also get the point that the side effects of the addiction are what mostly kills, rather than the drug itself usually, overdoses, etc.

BTW, what's the difference between yaba and ice?

I guess ice is more addictive and expensive as it has all those different excotic substances included as there are brake fluid,drain cleaner,paint thinner,lighter fuel,battery acid,lithium from battery's and a lot more.

http://www.articlesb...eth-172005.html

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BTW, what's the difference between yaba and ice?

They are both Methamphetamine, but yaba usually comes in pill form and ice is a crystal powder.

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I'm gonna regret getting involved, but the sheer ridiculousness of the comment below...

A hallmark of meth is skin problems. Self excoriation from believing there are insects.

Claiming the above is akin to claiming "a hallmark of alcohol is wife-beating and child abuse".

Actually, it's not really akin to anything of the sort. The link between alcohol and domestic violence would be hundreds of times stronger than the ridiculously tenuous link between methamphetamine abuse and formication.

Causes of formication include normal states such as onset of menopause (i.e. hormone withdrawal). Other causes are medical conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, skin cancer, syphilis, or herpes zoster.Formication can also sometimes be experienced during high fevers. Itching, tingling and formication often occur when surfacing from a dive or during ascent to altitude (decompression sickness or the bends).

It can be a side effect of Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall (dextro/levo-amphetamine) and Lunesta (eszopiclone) and other prescription drugs or of cocaine or amphetamines. (Accordingly, it goes by the slang term "coke bugs".) Formication can also be a withdrawal symptom of weaning oneself off of cocaine or amphetamine. It can also accompany alcohol withdrawal inalcoholics, along with delirium tremens, and can often be accompanied by visual hallucinations of insects.

In absolute seriousness, the % of amphetamine abusers who ever experience this sensation is so low, attempting to link the two is flirting dangerously with silliness. And of the tiny % of addicts who do experience it tend to have hygiene and health issues which are the vastly more likely culprits.

---------------

My position is often mistaken for being "pro-drug" which is ridiculously incorrect. Harmful drugs which do not serve any therapeutic function are very close to the definition of evil, imo. The abuse of illicit substances, prescription meds and the twin core villains of alcohol and nicotine....causes unfathomable suffering, kills millions every year, and the scourge of chemicals on society is probably the greatest challenge humanity will face in the near / medium future.

Drugs can save your life, of course. And they can kill in equally 'miraculous' fashion. But the carnage of the suffering wrought by drug abuse / addiction / dependence is magnified exponentially by ignorance and the logical fail of those who believe that the hundreds of millions of drug users are best supplied by criminals rather than chemists (with regulatory oversight and applicable controls).

Some estimations place approx 10% of all drinkers as alcoholics, only 10% but represents a huge number. The addiction rate for meth is believed do be significatly higher than that of alcohol.

Disclaimer: I am addicted to breathing oxygen. I am reliably told the rate of dependence for oxygen-breathers is unfathomably high.

Perhaps you'd like to rephrase your statement to make some kind of a point?

NIDA: According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 10.4 million people age 12 or older (4.3 percent of the population) have tried methamphetamine at some time in their lives. Approximately 1.3 million reported past-year methamphetamine use, and 512,000 reported current (past-month) use. Moreover, the 2005 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of student drug use and attitudes reported 4.5 percent of high school seniors had used methamphetamine within their lifetimes, while 8th-graders and 10th-graders reported lifetime use at 3.1 and 4.1 percent, respectively.

However, neither of these surveys has documented an overall increase in the abuse of methamphetamine over the past few years. In fact, both surveys showed recent declines in methamphetamine abuse among the Nation's youth. In contrast, evidence from emergency departments and treatment programs attest to the growing impact of methamphetamine abuse in the country. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), which collects information on drug-related episodes from hospital emergency departments (EDs) throughout the Nation, has reported a greater than 50 percent increase in the number of ED visits related to methamphetamine abuse between 1995 and 2002, reaching approximately 73,000 ED visits, or 4 percent of all drug-related visits in 2004.

Treatment admissions for methamphetamine abuse have also increased substantially. In 1992, there were approximately 21,000 treatment admissions in which methamphetamine / amphetamine was identified as the primary drug of abuse, representing more than 1 percent of all treatment admissions during the year. By 2004, the number of methamphetamine treatment admissions increased to greater than 150,000, representing 8 percent of all admissions.

Can you see what is happening here?

Methamphetamine (FDA-approved and prescribed to treat ADHD in the US under the brand name Desoxyn and other generics) abuse is decreasing.

lundbeck_desoxyn.jpg

And yet, the prevalence of medical problems from the abuse of street 'methamphetamine' is increasing, at horrific rates.

Whatever could be causing this strange phenomenon?

DEA: 4,391 methamphetamine purchases recorded in STRIDE since April 2005 were analyzed. The analysis shows that Methamphetamine prices are up and purity is down, reflecting the same trend as with cocaine.

Hmm. Could it - theoretically - be possible that the criminals who produce these vile substances which are killing our children are not being all that ethical or all that effective at self-regulation?

I know it sounds implausible, but surely a vile criminal who is handed the opportunity to profit from various harm-causing but profit-increasing production methods...could, in theory, be responsible for the fact that street 'methamphetamine' (we have to take the criminals' word for it, and why would they have any incentive to lie about the chemicals they are selling to our children...) is clearly getting MORE and MORE dangerous?

I know it's unlikely, but just a crazy conspiracy theory for you to ponder on. I don't know any criminals myself, and I apologise to all ex-con cooks who take their chemistry in their trailer parks very seriously, and I'm sure most criminals have admirable characters and most are no doubt stand-up gentlemen who wouldn't think of risking the integrity of their trailer park laboratory...and simply wouldn't dream of sacrificing the quality of their product purely to increase profit...but you never know, right?

Prohibition is clearly the Obvious Choice - it's been serving us well for a century now, and it's been performing so admirably and effectively for almost the entire century. Why would we want to embrace Regulation, at this late stage of the game, when Victory Day in the War on Drugs could happen any day now...

Ditching Prohibition for Regulation? Bah. That simply wouldn't make any sense, whatsoever.

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BTW, what's the difference between yaba and ice?

They are both Methamphetamine, but yaba usually comes in pill form and ice is a crystal powder.

I guess ice is more addictive and expensive as it has all those different excotic substances included as there are brake fluid,drain cleaner,paint thinner,lighter fuel,battery acid,lithium from battery's and a lot more.

http://www.articlesb...eth-172005.html

The correct answer is that 'ice' and 'crystal' and 'yaba' are WHATEVER THE CRIMINAL WHO IS COOKING IT SAYS IT IS.

Methamphetamine, on the other hand, is an actual synthetic chemical. You can sell your home-cooked batch and call it "meth" if you want, just like the au-ten-tic sellers of Rolex watches sell $10 timepieces nearby.

But it's not meth if it's not meth. Just like the $10 Rolex is not a Rolex. You wouldn't be furious at Rolex, and demand a replacement be sent out immediately, when your $10 counterfeit copy falls apart after a few days of use. That would be hilarious, and a bit ridiculous (if someone really thought that).

However, this is exactly how the $10 counterfeit chemicals are treated, by the governments of almost every nation on the face of the planet.

By the logic of every government who uses the negative experiences of the counterfeited chemicals to justify the ongoing Prohibition of the authentic product...the manufacturers of authentic $10,000 Rolex timepieces should have been arrested and charged with fraud years ago, as a result of the poor quality of the counterfeit copies being sold on street corners around the world for $10 a pop.

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"I get them from real world data and anecdotal experience." (TAWP).......ok TAWP, you came with the statement, I doubted it, it's up to you to back up your claim, not me. Reveal your sources and data. Then check the data to see % of people with lung cancer, emphysema, arteriosclerosis, bowel cancer, that do\did smoke.

It really isn't up to me to educate you. You are probably knowledge enough to open up Google?

Here is a quote, see if you find the rest: 'The risk of dying from lung cancer before age 85 is 22.1% for a male smoker and 11.9% for a female smoker, in the absence of competing causes of death.'

The majority of smokers don't die from smoking. But I do agree that it is stupid to smoke and far too many do.

But being a proponent of false facts isn't helpful, it will just make people turn away from the main point of the message.

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Hate to say this, but we lost the war on drugs years ago, it`s become a losing battle.

The scourge of drugs has been well established into every society the world over, now drugs are as easy to obtain as candy if you know where to go.

I can only visualise the drug problem worsening in the future and in the next 20 to 30 years the flow of drugs into countries will be too vast for any authorities to control and combat.

The world could be populated by a load of spaced out brain damaged junkies, all dependant on a fix for them to function.

Pleased to say I probably won`t be around to see it. I wish our future descendants of the world good luck, they are going to need it..

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Crystal meth is usually snorted followed by smoking (not through a bonk - it needs be heated like on foil without direct flame contact). It is also injected and can be ingested (i suspect yaa baa is basically the same drug) such as stirring it into a drink like coffee.

I am very familiar with the use of this drugs in the states and it rates right up their with crack in terms of ruining lives ... actually much more so as it can do permanent damage to ones mental state and it is much harder to get off and stay off of.

Doctors often have a hard time distinguishing between without proper background information a patient with disorders such as schizophrenic, paranoid, delusional and manic depression and that of a crystal meth users even after the user has long stopped.

Physical effects are too numerous to list but deadly things such as strokes, seizures & heart attacks are some. Some apparent things you see are rapid teeth loss from the side effects because it dries out the saliva in your mouth among other things but chronic use brings upon a number of aging factors. Oh and in chronic users you will also notice they often have a lot of scabs from picking their skin.

You can find numerous pictures online but here is a video link that shows before and after mug shots of crystal users. As you will see many of these folks look decades older even though the mugshot pictures were taken fairly short times apart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGQxhaPhFDs

* I used the term "chromic user" meaning somebody who is doing this at least a few times a week (the high from one dose can last anywhere from 12 to 24+ hours. and users generally need to take break to sleep after days of being up. But the point is I didn;t use the word long term user because all the symptoms I mentioned can be found in users after months and not years.

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"Most people that smoke cigarettes don't get cancer. Nor do most people of drugs become heavy abusers that end up homeless, endless hunting the dragon between the hand-jobs in the local park".(TAWP).....maybe you're right, but I have my doubts regarding your statement about ciggies and cancer. Where did you get the info from.....Philip Morris ? As for drug abuse, it depends on the drug, the person, and that person's social situation but continued heavy crystal meth use can turn intelligent people into conspiracy theory faked moon landings babbling wreckage....I've seen it.....very sad.

In terms of most drug users you are right but it really depends on the drug and not the person. Crystal Meth is usually a downhill ride for anybody who starts out as a casual user. The same is true for heroin and crack.

Many other drugs from weed and acid to snorting cocaine can be recreational but the other above drugs typically grab hold of the user leading the user into a downward spiral. It is only a small percentage of users of these drugs that can be an occasional user and when it comes to crystal and crack there is no hiding being a chronic user. As for heroin that is a different topic but although highly addictive it doesn't directly do a lo the body negatively beyond an intense addiction ... most of the negative "physical" results come into play because of the life style the addiction causes and not the actual drug itself when it comes to heroin.

IMO there really is no worse main stream illicit drug out there beyond Crystal when it comes to ruining somebody's life as well as doing it fairly quickly without the user knowing he has problem. Crack is not far behind but the user is aware that the drug is destroying their life and they want to stop (heroin users too) but the addiction (crack is more a mental craving) is too strong. On the other hand a typical meth addict believes the drug is making them more positive and productive and they have no clue they have radically changed in the eyes of all those around them even when told and their world falls apart and/or they .are demonstrating behavior of somebody with a mental disorder.

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TAWP and Nisa both have good points here. I wonder how many people ignore honest warnings about dangerous drugs because of the overblown and ridiculous warnings about more benign substances?

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Can someone outline the social realities of "ice" usage in Thailand?

For example, what is the usual money cost per day for addicts?

Assuming if high, that many would need to turn to crime.

Are there major differences in Thai usage patterns than western countries?

What are the most typical delivery systems for using the drug in Thailand? Obviously, with injections you get into HIV risk with that.

Who controls the trade here? Mafia? Corrupt officials? Foreign mafia?

Personally, I am rather libertarian when it comes to soft substances like marijuana, but I have seen crystal kill many people in so many ways, it does seem an aggressive response makes sense. (But not as aggressive as Thaksin's.)

One thing I would suggest may help with educating young people about this. Of course young people naturally feel immortal and naturally rebel against adults telling them trite things like Just Say No. However, one thing they do respond to is vanity! For example, a national ad and education campaign to graphically illustrate how meth addiction rapidly AGES people and makes them look like death boiled over. What I am saying is that young people respond better to messages saying something makes them LOOK really bad as opposed to saying something kills them. This kind of vanity message anyway has been effective in the US against youth cigarette smoking.

Can't say I concur with the libertarian view towards 'soft' substances as I have seen the evolution and progress catalyst at work. Demise usually starts by testing oneself and wanting to explore further, oft to the point of no return. Some are not as strong willed as others!

But I do concur with visual impact. It has huge successes and should be shown as community announcements but the free-to-air broadcasters always want payment for helping community! It is of course, worth the saturation advertising but then who will pay for the creation of the TVC's to get the message out there - most Governments throw money at analysis campaigns and useless public service inquiries who only come up with data and no solution. In your face ads line squeezing out a lung with oozing black goo made a huge impact on smokers in my country. The cost it saves in public health is ten fold the cost of the campaign but try getting that message across to any Government.

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I've observed that among Falang, coke users are also meth users, and vice versa. I notice from the recent news stories regarding the drug raids here in Bangkok, that only Thai persons were arrested, and there were no cocaine arrests, at least not that I saw from reading the news reports. I am just guessing, therefore, that coke is a protected drug here, at least to some degree, and that the Nigerians in the Sukhumvit Soi 3-13 area, who seem to control the distribution of coke, and the whitebread cokeheads who use the stuff, are also protected, and perhaps it depends on which police district where you live, work, and consume, but certainly Lumpini and Thonglor have not lost their sleaziness… I would also assert that the abundance of both cocaine and crystal meth, which is widely available here in Bangkok, indirectly supports many local industries. By way of example, I cannot imagine Wall Street, in New York City, functioning without several Starbucks coffee shops and their rival clones in the caffeine trade. Likewise, I cannot imagine that any of Thailand's star telemarketing sales loaders, here in Bangkok's mini-Madoff nether world of non-performing IPO's and evaporating commodities contracts, could ever drive clients to the bank without that hyper edge and vibrant buzz that they get from snorting blow and smoking ice.. Perhaps speed kills, but for the phone monkeys in the local sales rooms, it is a powerful motivator, and an integral part of the business. Surely the Thai police will never over-regulate Falang use of either Cocaine or crystal meth.

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I've observed that among Falang, coke users are also meth users, and vice versa. I notice from the recent news stories regarding the drug raids here in Bangkok, that only Thai persons were arrested, and there were no cocaine arrests, at least not that I saw from reading the news reports. I am just guessing, therefore, that coke is a protected drug here, at least to some degree, and that the Nigerians in the Sukhumvit Soi 3-13 area, who seem to control the distribution of coke, and the whitebread cokeheads who use the stuff, are also protected, and perhaps it depends on which police district where you live, work, and consume, but certainly Lumpini and Thonglor have not lost their sleaziness… I would also assert that the abundance of both cocaine and crystal meth, which is widely available here in Bangkok, indirectly supports many local industries. By way of example, I cannot imagine Wall Street, in New York City, functioning without several Starbucks coffee shops and their rival clones in the caffeine trade. Likewise, I cannot imagine that any of Thailand's star telemarketing sales loaders, here in Bangkok's mini-Madoff nether world of non-performing IPO's and evaporating commodities contracts, could ever drive clients to the bank without that hyper edge and vibrant buzz that they get from snorting blow and smoking ice.. Perhaps speed kills, but for the phone monkeys in the local sales rooms, it is a powerful motivator, and an integral part of the business. Surely the Thai police will never over-regulate Falang use of either Cocaine or crystal meth.

And to think I came to Thailand to get away from drug problems in my own country to bring up my kids in a better environment. Seems between the boiler room substance users and the Nigerian pushers, I may have made a mistake! Glad I moved out of Sukhumvit though, far nicer real Thai people in the burbs and not too many Farangs!

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No disputing that meth (or the look-alikes) is nasty stuff.

I'm just wondering how the war on drugs as waged in Thailand squares with the concept of moral freedom as derived from Buddhist teachings.

For instance, Thais can look beyond a woman's decision to become a prostitute and see that they aren't endowed with all of the facts of her life, that they are not in a position to judge. I think that's very admirable. But why doesn't the same logic apply with drug use?

Especially with drugs like marijuana. I don't think it's controversial anymore to describe pot as being safer and less addictive than even legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, and yet the Thais continue to employ zero-tolerance here too, even as they readily acknowledge their country is set to be thoroughly devastated by a meth epidemic.

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BANGKOK 26 April 2017 18:46
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