Yaba is one of the heaviest abused drugs in Thailand and other parts of South East Asia. Known for its ability to increase energy, yaba has become a go to choice for many people active in heavy workload environments. Jobs that include nightlife, transportation and agriculture are a few sectors which have been hit the hardest.
It’s common for people to believe that yaba is not a dangerous drug. In fact some will say it’s just like having an energy drink, and no worse. Unfortunately this cannot be further from the truth. Yaba is not just caffeine or a large dose of sugar; rather it’s methamphetamine with a small amount of caffeine added.
In fact, the world has seen a rise in methamphetamine abuse. From the United States, to Europe, Russia and Australia, meth has become one of the more affordable drugs. In addition to the ease of access and the increasing demand to work more, while still taking care of the household, methamphetamine is used to keep up with the constant on the go shuffle.
The continual rise in yaba abuse in Thailand can lead to numerous consequences including not only the individual user, but also the community as a whole. Many people don’t understand the societal effects of yaba abuse and the indirect effect it could have on them.
Yaba has been around Thailand for the last 20 or so years. It’s a synthetic drug manufactured from methamphetamine; often in Myanmar or the remote mountain areas. The average yaba pill has about 25to 35 milligrams of meth and another 45 to 65 milligrams of caffeine. The colored tablet, often red, will contain additional ingredients which has some very serious side effects.
• Acetone/Ethyl Alcohol- Inhaling or ingesting these substances can cause gastric irritation, narcosis and coma.
• Freon- Inhaling the fumes of Freon can lead to lung damage, corrosion of the bodies’ tissues or cardiac arrest.
• Anhydrous Ammonia – Inhaling or consuming this chemical can lead to edema of the respiratory track and asphyxiation. • Red Phosphorus – Can explode on contact; particularly in lab settings. The vapor and fumes can cause severe irritation of the nose, throat, lungs and eyes.
• Hypo-phosphorus Acid – A substitute for red phosphorus, it’s highly dangerous and can cause a release of odorless gas which creates a fire or explosion hazards (in a yaba lab.)
• Lithium – Caustic to all parts of the body.
• Hydraulic Acid – Very corrosive with vapors that irritate the respiratory system, eyes and skin. When smoked or ingested, internal irritation, damage and death can occur.
• Iodine Crystals – Produces a vapor which damages the respiratory system and eyes. The ingestion of iodine leads to serious internal damage.
The above chemicals are the base ingredients to make yaba or meth. In a lab setting, this concoction can pose a serious threat to anyone inside as there is a high risk for fire and explosion. Smoking, injecting or eating the yaba tablets can cause any of the above internal or external bodily harm.
Societal Effects of a Yaba Addiction Like alcohol, cocaine, pharmaceuticals or any other drug, there will be effects on the society or community as a whole. In the case of yaba addictions, the effects may not be so obvious. When they are noticed, they may be ignored. Due to the misunderstanding of what yaba is and how dangerous the drug can be, the effects may not become visible until the situation is already out of control.
Environmental Harm Every half kilo of yaba produced will cause between 2.5 and 3 kilos or more of hazardous waste. Much of the yaba production is in Myanmar, but there is still a concern for the people living in and around the area the drug is made in. It’s not uncommon for labs to dump their bi-products into streams, rivers, fields, sewage systems and the jungle. Crops may be grown in the same area and exported to Thailand where there may be trace amounts of the chemicals. Locals may be consuming the water or bathing in it which can lead to an astounding number of health problems. Unfortunately, many of these areas are poor and uneducated; there is little to no healthcare and no knowledge of the circumventing issues due to the yaba production. Flora and fauna will also be directly affected in Myanmar and the surrounding countries.
Criminal Activity Yaba can cause an increase in crime including burglaries, thefts and assault. When an addict has no money to pay for the drug, yet is experiencing a withdrawal, they will need to find an alternative to fund their habit. Stealing valuables from homes, purse snatching and motorbike theft can become a problem in areas with high yaba abuse. With serious yaba addictions, a person can become severely paranoid or enter a psychosis like state. This is due to a lack of sleep, poor nutrition and most importantly, an over production of dopamine in the brain. This can lead to unpredictable behavior and unprovoked violence.
Young Children Children living with parents, or guardians, with a yaba addiction may face neglect and risk being exposed to risky behaviors and activities. Fumes from the smoke can cause harm to developing children as well as an unborn fetus. The child may grow up with attachment disorders, behavioral problems, malnourishment or poor/lack of educational skills. Hepatitis, HIV, AIDS
Yaba users may feel hypersexual, hyper-stimulated and uninhibited. They may engage in risky sexual behaviors and forget about protection. This not only can cause unplanned pregnancies, but also STD’s. Heavy yaba abusers may use the drug intravenously and needle sharing may be practiced, exposing the individuals to the transmission of deadly diseases such as hepatitis, HIV and AIDS. This can also lead to problems in the countries’ respected health care system.
Getting Help for a Yaba Addiction in Thailand Serenity Chiang Rai fully understands the risks and implications of a yaba addiction. Our team of staff is familiar with the risks, the symptoms and the effects of abuse. Through our innovative yaba rehab treatment, we have been able to help people overcome an addiction and regain their normal, sober and healthy lifestyle. If you would like to know more about how we treat an addiction to yaba, or our rehab center in Thailand, please contact us today.