DEADLY SCOURGE

Mizzima Business Weekly - - IN FOCUS -

The torch­ing of seized il­le­gal drugs by the Myan­mar au­thor­i­ties on reg­u­lar oc­ca­sions, with the me­dia on hand to wit­ness it, is laud­able. Yet the seizures of metham­phetamines, opium and heroin typ­i­cally make up a small frac­tion of the drugs be­ing made and traf­ficked in this lu­cra­tive il­le­gal trade. Il­le­gal drugs are a prob­lem for Myan­mar, but the main prob­lem is the Golden Triangle, par­tic­u­larly the Wa re­gion of Shan State, is the ma­jor hub for am­phet­a­mines, opium and heroin that is be­ing ex­ported to neigh­bour­ing Thai­land, China, Bangladesh and In­dia and fur­ther afield. Myan­mar is the world's sec­ond-big­gest opium pro­ducer after Afghanistan. Metham­phetamine pro­duc­tion here is soar­ing as well. Many farm­ers rely on the drug business to make ends meet. Drug lords in Myan­mar Burma have turned to man­u­fac­tur­ing mas­sive quan­ti­ties of am­phet­a­mines and metham­phetamines that can be pro­duced cheaply in small, hid­den lab­o­ra­to­ries, with­out the need for acres of ex­posed land. The spillover ef­fect is dire, par­tic­u­larly on youth. For ex­am­ple, a re­cent re­port in­di­cated at al­most 50 per­cent of youth in neigh­bour­ing Bangladesh are hooked on meths or Yaba, as it is also called. In the fol­low­ing sto­ries, we take a look at the some as­pects of this re­gional prob­lem.

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