While amphetamine abuse has leveled off in North America and Europe, it is taking off in Asia. According to the 2012 World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, amphetamines have become the leading drug threat for East and Southeast Asian countries. The report noted the following statistics for the region:
- Methamphetamine seizures quadrupled to 136 million units between 2008 and 2010
- 458 amphetamine-class drug labs were seized in 2009, compared to 49 in 2005
- China, Myanmar and the Philippines are considered the biggest producers of amphetamines
- Indonesia and Malaysia are rising producers of crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy
- China and Thailand seized the most methamphetamine tablets (58.4 and 50.4 million, respectively) in 2010
The United Nation’s report also added that 96% of seizures in East and Southeast Asia involved methamphetamines, and accounted for nearly half of the global seizure amount for 2010. Cambodia also experienced increased seizures, while Japan has seen a steady decline since 2008. Overall, amphetamines are second only to marijuana as the world’s most widely used illicit drug.
Amphetamines and Asia
Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) include the following drugs:
- Prescription stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall
- Illicit stimulants like methamphetamine, speed and ecstasy
- Amphetamines like yaba, yama and yao-tou-wan
According to a 2011 drug policy briefing by the Transnational Institute, amphetamine abuse has affected Asia in the following ways:
- ATS abuse is commonly associated with potentially lethal communicable diseases
- Compulsory drug-related incarceration and treatment has proven ineffective
- Many Asian countries lack professional training in addiction and mental health care
Amphetamine abuse can cause anxiety, stress, insomnia, convulsions, seizures, stroke, paranoia, overdose and damage to brain and nerve cells, among other problems.
Reasons for Amphetamine Abuse
The Transnational Institute report also noted the following reasons for the rising ATS abuse rates:
- Anti-drug efforts in Asia often focus exclusively on opium products
- The opiate market experienced sizable price and supply instability in recent years
- Asian producers and users are progressively turning to amphetamines instead
Asian citizens are also influenced by the following factors:
- Misguided associations between drugs and wealthier lifestyles
- More disposable income in areas with a growing middle class
- Rising performance demands in a more competitive global economy
- Increasing ability to manufacture amphetamines
If amphetamine abuse becomes a problem, seek professional rehab treatment immediately.
Amphetamine Abuse Treatment
Many rehab facilities cater to Asian cultures with the following services:
- Medically supervised detox that maximizes safety and minimizes discomfort
- Screenings and treatment for mental health issues and mood disorders
- Behavioral therapies that promote healthier thoughts, emotions and conduct
- Individual counseling to determine personal amphetamine abuse triggers
- Eastern holistic options for treating addiction and withdrawal symptoms
- Assistance with transportation, childcare and other logistical concerns
- Group therapy to share experiences and discuss recovery strategies
Finding the right treatment center may seem like work, but we can help.
Amphetamines Addiction Helpline
If you are Asian and prefer culturally relevant addiction treatment, our admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day to help. We can discuss treatment programs, facility locations and special needs, and we can even check health insurance policies for benefits. If you want to stop abusing amphetamines, call our toll-free helpline right now.