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Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) - Myanmar

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Title: The other China boom - China's youth are driving a booming trade in recreational drugs, turning neighbouring Myanmar into a meth lab (video)
Date of publication: 03 January 2014
Description/subject: "China's youth are driving a booming trade in recreational drugs, turning neighbouring Myanmar into a meth lab. In a hidden corner of Asia, where two dramatically different and rapidly changing nations collide, a disturbing trade is taking hold that is endangering lives around the world. With money to burn, China's non-stop party people are turning to drugs in unprecedented numbers, turning neighbouring Myanmar into a meth lab and driving a resuscitation of the bad old days of big-time trade in the Golden Triangle's devastating narcotic heroin. The epic size and industrial scale of the new Asian drug supply is staggering. Intercepts of the methamphetamine Ice or the ingredients necessary for its manufacture are toted up in tonnages. But given authorities only manage to uncover a fraction of the trade that begins in Myanmar, and pours into China, a deadly dangerous drug is in overwhelming flood. Heroin and other dangerous drug traffic are tearing out of a newly unshackled Myanmar and into booming, cashed-up China, infecting towns and big cities that have not experienced a rampant, deadly drug culture before. Beyond China, narcotics and amphetamines are streaming out to western markets. Connect with 101 East Reporter Stephen McDonell takes us right into the heart of the tear-away trade, on patrol with China's drug police struggling against the tide of illicit drugs often carried by poor Myanmar mules prepared to risk everything for a couple of hundred dollars..."
Author/creator: Stephen McDonell
Language: English
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
Format/size: html, Adobe Flash (25 minutes")
Date of entry/update: 04 January 2014

Title: Hpa-an Photo Set: BGF production and sale of yaba in T'Nay Hsah and Ta Kreh townships
Date of publication: 04 July 2013
Description/subject: "This photo set includes three still photographs selected from images taken by a KHRG community member; one was taken in April 2013 and two were taken in June 2012. The photographs were taken in T'Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District and depict a tablet form of methamphetamine for sale, which is known locally as yaba, meaning 'crazy medicine' in Thai. The yaba pictured below was manufactured and sold by the Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1016's commander, Mya Khaing, who is based in T'Nay Hsah Township. According to the community member who took these photos, the sale of the drug is pervasive throughout T'Nay Hsah and Ta Kreh townships and has seriously harmed many teenage villagers' lives and put some families in debt as a result.....No pdf format.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (28K)
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013

Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, June 2012 to February 2013
Date of publication: 05 June 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in T'Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District between June 2012 and February 2013. The report describes monks demanding money and labour from villagers for the building of roads and pagodas. Also detailed in this report is the loss of money and possessions by many villagers through playing the two-digit lottery. Further, the report describes the cutting down of forest in Yaw Ku and in Kru Per village tracts by the DKBA and the BGF, including 30 t'la aw trees, which villagers rely upon for their housing; the Tatmadaw have also designated land for sale without consulting local villagers. This report also describes the prevalence of amphetamine use and sale in the area, involving both young people and armed groups including the BGF, KPF and DKBA. Finally, the report details the ongoing danger posed by landmines, which continue to stop villagers from going about their livelihoods and are reportedly still being planted by armed groups..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (242K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b30.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013

Title: Patterns and Trends of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and Other Drugs, Asia and the Pacific, 2012 (Myanmar section and full report)
Date of publication: December 2012
Description/subject: Emerging trends and concerns: • Myanmar remains a major source of methamphetamine pills and opiates in South-East Asia, most of which are manufactured in Shan State in the eastern part of the country. • For the first time, a crystalline methamphetamine manufacturing facility was seized in 2012. • Large amounts of methamphetamine in pill and crystalline form originating from Myanmar continue to be seized in neighbouring countries. • Precursor chemicals are trafficked from neighbouring countries to methamphetamine manufacturing centres located near Myanmar’s eastern border, where Government control remains limited. • Preliminary data for 2012 suggests that seizures of illicit drugs and their precursor chemicals have increased significantly. • Opium poppy cultivation has increased in Myanmar for six consecutive years
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Format/size: pdf (144K-Myanmar_section; 1.32MB-full report)
Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/documents/eastasiaandpacific/2012/12/ats-2012/2012_Regional_ATS_Report_FINAL_H...
Date of entry/update: 13 December 2012

Title: Myanmar: Situation Assessment on Amphetamine-Type Stimulants
Date of publication: 20 December 2010
Description/subject: "...According to the latest Myanmar Situation Assessment on Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS), the manufacture, trafficking and consumption of synthetic drugs in the country and region is worsening. Published by UNODC, the report indicates that the impact of methamphetamine and other ATS trafficked from Myanmar affects not only the country's immediate neighbours but also parts of East and South-East Asia. Speaking on this, Deepika Naruka, East Asia and the Pacific Regional Coordinator for the Global Synthetics Monitor: Analyses, Reporting and Trends (SMART) Programme, noted: "There are indications that the methamphetamine problem in Myanmar is becoming more severe. In 2009, large seizures of high purity crystalline methamphetamine were made in Myanmar. Authorities in both Myanmar and Thailand confirm that the manufacture of crystalline methamphetamine is now occurring in the Golden Triangle..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Format/size: pdf (2.9MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.unodc.org/documents/eastasiaandpacific//2010/12/ops-myanmar-ats/Myanmar_ATS_Report_2010_...
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2010

Title: Patterns and Trends of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants and Other Drugs in East and South-East Asia (and neighbouring regions) 2009 - Myanmar
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: Overview of drug use (Myanmar): "The main drugs of use in Myanmar during the past decade have been heroin which is primarily injected and opium which is primarily smoked. Prevalence estimates vary, but the number of opioid users are likely in the hundreds of thousands (UNODC, 2004). Emerging in the mid-1990s, methamphetamine has become a prominent drug of concern. Since 2004, methamphetamine has ranked third in terms of use behind the two leading drugs. Since 2005, methamphetamine has accounted for about a quarter of all drug related arrests, while heroin and opium together have accounted for more than half. A survey in 2005 conducted by the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) among high school students in the towns of Tamu, Muse, Tachilek, Myawaddy and Kawthaung indicates low lifetime prevalence rates for this sub-population of youth. With the exception of cough syrups, drug use prevalence was less than 2%. However, the survey points out that results may have been higher had the survey been expanded to include the significant number of youth who did not attend high school. Illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, primarily in pill form (yaba), continues, particularly in the Shan, Wa, and Kokang autonomous region. The political situation in Myanmar in 2009 is unsettled, with open hostilities between government and ethnic groups previously under cease fire agreement. This instability could affect the current illicit drug production and trafficking dynamics in the region. There is a likelihood that these changing conditions will serve as a push factor for increasing the trafficking of illicit drugs and could result in the relocation of clandestine manufacturing sites across the border. Also, the areas along the Lao PDR and Cambodia border could experience increased trafficking activity with the possibility that clandestine lab operations may be established in these areas..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Format/size: pdf (516K; 5.8MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/UNODC-2009_Patterns_and_Trends-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2009

Title: A Crazy Business -- review of "Merchants of Madness" by Bertil Lintner and Michael Black
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: Merchants of Madness: The Methamphetamine Explosion in the Golden Triangle by Bertil Lintner and Michael Black; Silkworm Press, 2009. P 176..."...FEW international policy makers care to look at a major reason for the decline of opium in Burma. The market shift in production from opiates to amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) saw syndicates in Burma manufacture hundreds of millions of cheap speed pills for sale to neighboring countries. Merchants of Madness, by Bertil Lintner and co-author Michael Black, takes the reader on a wild ride through the history of that transition and exposes the main players behind it: ethnic Wa warlords, Chinese drug lords and local thugs, all protected by the Burmese military to sustain the country's largest export after natural gas..."
Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 April 2009

Title: Withdrawal Symptoms - Changes in the Southeast Asian drugs market
Date of publication: August 2008
Description/subject: The Golden Triangle is closing a dramatic period of opium reduction”, wrote UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa in his preface to the 2007 survey on Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia. “A decade long process of drug control is clearly paying off.” According to the survey, the region produced one-third of world opium production in 1998, now down to only about 5 percent. The once notorious region “can no longer be called Golden Triangle on the reason of opium production alone.” There has clearly been a significant decline in opium production in Southeast Asia over the past decade in spite of a resurgence in Burma (Myanmar) in the last two years. In this study, we try to assess the causes and consequences, and come to the conclusion that the region is suffering a variety of ‘withdrawal symptoms’, leaving little reason for optimism. The rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a ‘success story’. Meanwhile, the market of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has increased rapidly and higher heroin prices are leading to shifts in consumer behaviour. While the total numbers of opium and heroin users may be going down, many have started to inject and others have shifted to a cocktail of pharmaceutical replacements, representing largely unknown health risks. Confronted with harsh domestic repression and little support from the international community, both farmers and users in the region are struggling to find coping strategies to deal with the rapid changes. Drug control officials have presumed that reducing opium production would automatically lead to a reduction in drug consumption and drugrelated problems. The reality in Southeast Asia proves them wrong. Had quality treatment services been in place, more drug users may have chosen that option. In the absence of adequate health care and within a highly repressive law enforcement environment, however, most are forced to find their own ‘solutions’. Harm reduction services are still only accessible to a tiny proportion of those who need them in the region, even though most countries have now adopted the basic principles in their policy framework. China, especially, has started to significantly scale up needle exchange and methadone programmes to prevent a further spreading of blood-borne infections. In 1998, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting signed the declaration for a Drug-Free ASEAN by 2020 and two years later even decided to bring forward the target year to 2015. Countries elaborated national plans to comply with the deadline putting huge pressure on rural communities to abandon poppy cultivation and traditional opium use and on police to arrest as many users and traders as possible. This also led to the 2003 ‘war on drugs’ in Thailand in which thousands of drug users and small-scale traders were killed. The 2008 status report on progress achieved towards making ASEAN and China drug-free, “identifies an overall rising trend in the abuse of drugs”, however, and acknowledges that “a target of zero drugs for production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs in the region by 2015 is obviously unattainable”. This TNI publication makes extensive use of the research carried out by our team of fifteen researchers working in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Yunnan province in China. Hundreds of interviews were conducted with farmers, users and traders. We cannot thank them enough for their motivation and courage. Most prefer to remain anonymous and continue their research to detect new trends and help fill gaps in knowledge that have become apparent while writing this first report. A more detailed publication incorporating their latest findings is due at the end of this year. We intend to discuss our outcomes with authorities, civil society and researchers in the region with a view to contributing to a better understanding of the changes taking place in the regional drugs market and to design more effective and humane drug policy responses for the future.
Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Martin Jelsma
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) Debate Papers No. 16
Format/size: pdf (688K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idpc.net/publications/changes-in-southeast-asian-drugs-market
Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010

Title: Alles nur Show Business - Rangoons “Krieg gegen die Drogen” im Shan Staat
Date of publication: 22 June 2007
Description/subject: Die vorliegende Untersuchung entlarvt den angeblichen “Krieg gegen die Drogen”, den Burmas Militärregime im Shan Staat zu führen vorgibt, als eine reine Farce. Er liefert Beweise dafür, dass die Drogenindustrie vielmehr einen integralen Teil der Regimepolitik darstellt, um das Gebiet des Shan Staats ruhigzustellen und zu kontrollieren. "Pseudo"-War against drugs in Shan-State; Neutralitaion of the Shan
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Burma Riders
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007

Title: Hand in Glove - The Burma Army and the drug trade in Shan State
Date of publication: August 2006
Description/subject: "...In a way, this report starts off from where our last report "Show Business: Rangoon's War on Drugs in Shan State" (2003) left off. It describes the unimaginable extent of corruption in Burma, and the live-off-the-land policy of Burmese military units that has forced local authorities to turn a blind eye to drug activities. It also exposes how cultivation of opium poppies has increased, and gives insight into the production and trade of methamphetamines, better known as yaba in Thailand and yama in Shan State. The major difference is that whereas "Show Business" focused mostly on opium and its derivative heroin, Hand in Glove puts the spotlight more on yaba. It also highlights the growing role of pro-Rangoon militia in the drug trade, as the regime has begun openly favouring them over the ceasefire groups..." 1. Military collusion in the drug trade: - Rain leaking from the roof; - Military expansion and "self reliance"... 2. Opium trends: - Poppy upsurge since 2004; - Bumper 2005-2006 crop; - Selective slashing; - Opium output decreasing or increasing?... 3. Churning out the pills: - Factories; - The precursors; - Brands... 4. Shipping out... 5. Militia on the rise: - New faces... 6. Crackdown charades... 7. Drug use in Shan State: - Rehabilitation efforts... 8. Conclusion... Appendix: Burma Army units reported to be involved in the drug trade.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.shanland.org/oldversion/Hand%20in%20Glove.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 August 2006

Title: Yaa Baa: Production, Traffic and Consumption of Methamphetamine in mainland Southeast Asia
Date of publication: 2004
Description/subject: This Google Book "Preview" presents snippets of the full text, including the Table of Contents and selected end-notes... Book overview: "This book's main contribution is that it is the first to deal with methamphetamines in Southeast Asia, the abuse of which is spreading rapidly, especially in Thailand. Until only about a decade ago, the drug, known in Thai as yaa maa (horse medicine), was used mainly by truck drivers and construction workers. But in the early 1990s, large-scale production of cheap methamphetamines (now known as yaa baa, or madness medicine) in Burma began."...addiction amphetamine amphetamine-type stimulants Army baht Bangkok Post become behaviour border Burma Burmese Cambodia cent Chiang children China Chinese Communist consumption country culture dealers Dovert drogues Drug Control drug trade drug trafficking du economic ecstasy effects Ephedra ephedrine et family Farmers Research Centre geopolitical Geopolitique Global Golden Triangle groups heroin Illegal Drugs illicit drug increase individuals International Interview jao pho junta Khun Koong la laboratories labourers Laos Laotian Les Mae mainland Southeast Asia market methamphetamine pills methamphetamine production military Narcotics Control Board Nualnoi Treerat number Office of Narcotics opium production parents Paris Phongpaichit police population prostitution province psychotropic region school Shan social students Study on Illegal substances tablets take Thai Farmers Research Thai society Thailande contemporaine United Nations urban users UWSA village wholesalers workers yaa baa consumers young Thais
Author/creator: Pierre-Arnoud Chouvy, Joel Meissonier
Language: English
Source/publisher: National University of Singapore
Format/size: pdf?
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009

Title: Yaa baa: Production, trafic et consommation de m�thamph�tamine en Asie du Sud-Est continentale.
Date of publication: October 2002
Description/subject: A PARAITRE (Octobre 2002). Yaa baa, "le m�dicament qui rend fou". En Tha�lande le surnom de la m�thamph�tamine sonne comme un avertissement, mais il n'a pas dissuad� des centaines de milliers de Tha�landais, jeunes pour la plupart, de s'y adonner avec plus ou moins de retenue. "Drogue de travail" ou "drogue de loisir", il s'agit d'un v�ritable ph�nom�ne de soci�t� qui n'est pas �tranger aux �volutions �conomiques et aux mutations culturelles qu'� connu le royaume au cours de ces derni�res d�cennies. Ce livre s'efforce de donner des explications � un engouement qui touche �galement d'autres pays de la r�gion. Il replace la consommation de m�thamph�tamine dans les logiques du narcotrafic dont les ressorts sont � rechercher aux marges orientales de la Birmanie, en plein c�ur du Triangle d'Or." Table des Matieres et INtroduction.
Author/creator: Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy et Jo�l Meissonnier
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: IRASEC - L
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.pa-chouvy.org/yaabaa.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Yaa Baa Finding New Users
Date of publication: July 2000
Description/subject: Methamphetamines, or yaa baa, as the latest scourge of Thai society is known locally, are claiming new victims amongst the country's huge Burmese refugee and migrant communities, according to numerous sources.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 7
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=703
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: "Mad Pill" Takes Its Toll in Northern Shan State
Date of publication: August 1999
Description/subject: A report on the situation of amphetamine abuse in Shan State along the northern borders with China, contributed by the Shan Herald Agency for News.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003