Thailand and South-east Asia face increasing drug problems following a boost in methamphetamine abuse and the expansion of poppy plantations in Burma and Laos, according to the 2011 report released on Tuesday by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). (ONCB Thailand/The Nation)
Thailand and Southeast Asia face increasing drug problems following a boost in methamphetamine abuse and the expansion of poppy plantations in Burma and Laos, according to the 2011 report released Tuesday by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
Young people in the region are major targets for methamphetamine, known as
"ice", the report said. This is matched by an increasing number of
cases reported by anti-narcotics police and the Office of Narcotics Control
Board, especially in the Northeast, which borders the two countries. In certain
cases, methamphetamines is sold as a diet supplement at prices cheaper than
amphetamines. Amphetamines are more popular among Thais. Traders found this
tactic attracted greater sales of amphetamines and helped them introduce
methamphetamines to existing clients.
In its recommendations, INCB encouraged countries to increase the amount of
internationally controlled drugs (ICDs) to match needs of patients under
various conditions, following a World Health Organisation (WHO) standard.
Under the UN definition, ICDs are addictive substances needed for general or
psychotropic treatment. Their production needs to be regulated because
excessive amounts might be left in the hands of dealers or abused by users.
Most ICDs are non-patented, or their patents have expired.
In this respect, Thailand
is still under a WHO standard to provide internationally controlled drugs to
101 patients per million people within 24 hours, said Viroj Sumyai, an INCB
The WHO standard stipulates a minimum of 200 patients, while in a country
like the US,
the figure is higher than 10,000.
The INCB found that production of poppy in Laos had been increasing.
Methamphetamine has also been trafficked widely in China,
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) plays an important role in
monitoring enforcement of restrictions on narcotics and psychotropics.
Its representative for East Asia and
Pacific, Gary Lewis, said it was important that suppression must abide by the
rule of law. He had been asked about possible drug-related violence and revenge
International attention would be important in keeping government's
operations in check and local authorities should always heed human rights
principles while conducting the crackdowns, Lewis said.