A deadly drug
In November 2012, there was a blast in a flat which was not being used to make explosives. It was a laboratory for the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine, and according to Pakistan Customs spokesperson Qamar Thello, this was the first such lab to have ever been discovered in Pakistan.
Methamphetamine was first developed in Germany in 1887, and its more potent crystal form was synthesised in Japan in 1919. In the 1990s, Mexican drug cartels began manufacturing the drug on an industrial scale and today the UN estimates that there are over 25 million meth users across the world. Meth is popular because it is cheap and easy to conceal. Just last week, customs official held a standard press conference detailing the latest seizures of drugs being smuggled out of the country. The haul included one kilo of crystal meth hidden in two separate suitcases, destined for the Gulf.
A story claims that much of the meth available in Pakistan is sourced from the Khyber Agency and that there are over 400 meth dealers in Peshawar alone. There are reports of large labs operating in Balochistan, as well as of smaller operations run by university students with chemical engineering backgrounds in Karachi. All you need are household chemicals, simple lab equipment and ephedrine. Meth is popular because it is relatively cheap, cocaine sells for Rs10,000 to Rs12,000 per gram, while meth can be obtained for Rs1,500 to Rs3,000. Easy to conceal, and is incredibly potent.
Meth users typically feel an initial burst of manic energy and confidence. The need to sleep or eat vanishes. In some cases, users don’t sleep for days on end. The crash is even more intense, with constant cravings for the drug leading to anxiety, paranoia, and in some cases, self-harm. —Via email