News / Asia

UN: Amphetamine Trafficking, Usage Up in Asia

A policeman stands in front of pile of seized drugs during narcotics destruction ceremony in Thailand, 2004. A policeman stands in front of pile of seized drugs during narcotics destruction ceremony in Thailand, 2004.
x
A policeman stands in front of pile of seized drugs during narcotics destruction ceremony in Thailand, 2004.
A policeman stands in front of pile of seized drugs during narcotics destruction ceremony in Thailand, 2004.
TEXT SIZE - +
Ron Corben
BANGKOK - The United Nations, in its latest global report on drug use and trafficking, says Asia is facing increasing trafficking and use of amphetamine type stimulants as well as a revival in the production of opium in Burma and Laos. A senior U.N. official says the illicit production and abuse of drugs is a growing regional problem.  
 
In its latest global drug report released Tuesday, the U.N.’s Office on Drugs and Crime says Asia faces a challenge when it comes to curbing the production and use of amphetamine type stimulants, known as ATS, together with rising opium output and widespread use of cannabis, especially among the region’s youth.
 
Gary Lewis, the UNODC regional representative, says the rising trend of ATS production and abuse in China and South East Asia comes even though global production and use had largely stabilized.
 
Lewis says Asia now accounts for about half of the world’s ATS users.  He also says opium production is also soaring in the region.  
 
“Of some concern to our region ATS, or amphetamine type stimulants. While its stabilized across the globe its increasing very much in our region in South East Asia and in China. There has been a resurgence of opium poppy cultivation over the past five years and soaring production, trafficking, use of  amphetamine type stimulants. And this ought to be of concern to public policy makers,” Lewis said.

The U.N. says there has been a “fourfold” increase in seizures of ATS tablets over recent years, pointing to a sharp rise in output.
 
The report also noted increasing use of synthetic and prescription drugs in Asia,  such as Ketamine, especially in China, including Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam.
 
The report notes in Brunei, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea crystalline methamphetamine is now commonly abused.  In South Asia, both Bhutan and Sri Lanka showed an increase in the use of cannabis and ATS while in Bangladesh ATS use had become “quite widespread” especially in urban areas.
 
Also, some 3.9 million drug users in the region are injecting opiates as well as methamphetamines, raising the risk of the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.   
 
The U.N. says there has been an increase in global potential opium production after a sharp decline in 2010 when disease affected opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, the world’s largest opium poppy producer.
 
In Burma, also known as Myanmar, opium poppy output rose to 610 tons in 2011 from 580 tons a year earlier, with higher output also reported in Laos to 25 tons.
 
In response, the Burmese government has undertaken a program of crop eradication but Gary Lewis of the U.N. says farmers need an alternative crop.  
 
“What is required is a combination of many things. What is not required is an exclusive focus on eradication because farming communities need to survive and they will grow the crop again if they are not provided with an alternative. We have seen this over and over and over again,” Lewis said.
 
The U.N. says just one quarter of all farmers involved in illicit drug crop cultivation around the world have access to development assistance.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: enilor from: philippines
June 27, 2012 3:03 AM
..legalized it, impose tax on it just like alcohol and tobacco.. that way corruption will be curtailed especially from government officials and the police. Decriminalize it, and the youth and users will not think of it as another thrilling thing.

In Response

by: yu from: China
June 28, 2012 3:00 AM
That's a good idea


by: JR from: Brazil
June 26, 2012 6:33 PM
That's a serious problem that is causing big troubles around the world. I see here a lot of young people lost in the crack, for them nothing, absolutely nothing, matter beyond the drug. It is very sad to see them. What and how to do something, that is the question for the people, not only for the police.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid