Skip to comments.The drug that makes users 'crazy' (Yaba, created by Nazis in WWII, hits Asia)
Posted on 05/05/2002 12:05:00 AM PDT by LarryLied
The Nazis created the stimulant to keep troops awake for days during WWII.
Investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre visits popular holiday destinations and discovers a dance drug feared to be more damaging than crack or heroin.
The man rolling around the rooftop high above the city streets appears at first to be holding a small parcel. But it soon becomes clear that the object in his arms is in fact a small child, no older than two. The child is his son and he's a drug-crazed addict intent on ending both their lives.
Then through a hole in the roof clamber two desperate-looking rescuers. They rugby-tackle the drug addict, wrestling the child away, everybody rolling precariously on the sloping roof. A fall will kill them all.
At one point the rescued baby is dropped on the roof, sending him skidding back into the arms of the madman, before again being retrieved.
Welcome to the world of crazy medicine, a world in which a pernicious form of speed has taken grip. It's a world only too obviously evident if you go to Thailand where the narcotic - locally known as yaba - is every drug-taker's favourite tipple at present.
Thailand is just the latest country to suffer - Japan and the US have been here already. The authorities say the drug is spreading like a tidal wave across the world.
Yaba causes the brain to flood with a substance called dopamine, causing huge exhilaration but then terrible lows. Even low levels of abuse (one pill a day for a few months) can produce clinical depression and psychosis, a condition the no-nonsense Thais treat with raw electric shock treatment in their psychiatric hospitals.
The Thai police and judicial system are equally unequivocal in dealing with takers: dealers in only small amounts can get the death penalty while erratic drug behaviour in the streets can earn summary execution, as seen in several dramatic incidents in BBC One's MacIntyre Investigates.
Thailand is a country which thought it had said goodbye to serious drugs epidemics, having conquered the scourge of heroin abuse, banishing its production from once-prolific opium areas.
This new epidemic is fuelled by supplies from Thailand's maverick neighbour and long time foe, Burma. There, production of this drug is going vertical - this year 800 million tablets of yaba are scheduled to be produced from labs strung along the Thai-Burma border.
It's not an area that the Burmese want nosey Western journalists to visit, especially in the company of rebel soldiers continuing a civil war against the Burmese military junta.
However, that is where Donal MacIntyre and four other BBC journalists ended up last autumn during the production of Thursday's programme.
It's a trip which yielded proof of Burmese involvement in the drug trade. We saw drugs being seized from soldiers after they were caught in an ambush by rebel soldiers; and found a Burmese army garrison which served as a depot for storing the drug.
Recently, huge batches of these drugs have been intercepted on their way to Europe, transported by ship and by plane. Typically the drugs find their way onto the streets of Thailand and into areas popular with tourists.
In traffic-choked Bangkok, one of the only ways to move swiftly around town is to employ a bike-taxi. These are ridden by boys barely old enough to have passed their cycling proficiency test. But these bike boys are not really interested in offering lifts as they make more money selling drugs.
One night we came across several bike boys dancing drunk in the street. They offered drugs to Donal who, as an experienced undercover drugs buyer, asked for an amount he knew they could not possibly have to hand - and was somewhat shocked when they offered to supply.
An Irishman struggling to speak Thai to drunken teenage dealers - and all played out in front of one of the biggest transvestite clubs in Thailand.
It is tragic that history didn't develop a different scenario: "Yatta, created by Asians, hits WWII Nazis."
The Third Reich would have crumbled and many lives would have been salvaged! ;^)
... besides Ritalin.
I wonder if they're from the same pharma family tree?
Thailand's "Drug War" foe?
They're STILL operative?
But we -- now making War on Terror -- dealt with them upon calling the Drug War!! What gives?
In 1969, President Nixon declared war on drugs. One of the first measures taken was to identify the sources of the problem. In one instance, analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency began looking at drug-trafficking emanating from Southeast Asia. Drawing on a massive amount of detail from a wide spectrum of sources, the first map was drawn of the 'Golden Triangle' - then regarded as the main source of drugs and narcotics (5).
The triangle included parts of Thailand, Burma, Laos, and, especially, Yunnan Province, China, as shown by the solid line triangle in Figure 2 [MISSING] below. The northeast tip of the triangle was located well up in Yunnan Province, near Kunn-dng. Yunnan Province was, indeed, the dominant source, both in its own right and through its control of and assistance to operations in northern Burma and Thailand. As the CIA Far East specialist who constructed the map described the position, the triangle was really a 'Golden V the apex of which was in the region where Thailand, Burma and Laos came together. Most of the area, the funnel of the V, was in Yunnan Province.
This assessment was identical to the information provided by Sejna, based on Czechoslovak and Soviet intelligence studies. He also reported that in 1960 China signed a 'Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation' with Burma, which provided China with the opportunity to operate openly in Burma. According to KGB estimates, fifty percent of the Chinese representatives in Burma were involved (officially) in the drug business in the early 1960s.
In 1970, the CIA map of the Golden Triangle was passed to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs [BNDD1, a forerunner of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA: see page 671. Months later, a new version of the map emerged from the White House. The tip of the triangle had been moved from 25 degrees north latitude in China down to 0 degrees north latitude, in Laos. The new designation is shown by the dashedline triangle in Figure 2. With a few strokes of a pen, Communist China had been effectively excluded from the Golden Triangle.
At that time, the top national-level US organisation concerned with illegal narcotics trafficking was the Ad Hoc Committee on Narcotics, chaired by Henry Kissinger. As Edward Jay Epstein observed, Kissinger evidenced little interest in the heroin problem and rarely attended committee meetings. General Alexander Haig usually chaired the meetings in Kissinger's absence. Kissinger, [Under Secretary of State Elliot] Richardson and Haig spent most of their energies dampening the enthusiasm of White House zealots to launch a new heroin crusade which might again threaten diplomatic relations with important allies (6). Certainly, the initiative towards China was one of the high-priority diplomatic initiatives at that time. Epstein also noted that after the Department of Defence began using reconnaissance planes to help identify poppy fields in Burma and Laos, Kissinger stopped the overflights of Burma specifically to avoid threatening détente with China (7).
Come to think of it ... why don't we just call a War on Evil?
Or would that preclude some of our more "Pragmatic" means, actions and policies?
LMAO! Yatta this!
From a Liberteen - just yesterday -
By the way, when sanity returns, we shall have to talk about reparations for victims of the drug war. They have a far better case then fifth generation decendents of slavery.
(crazy medicine, pronounced yar bah) Originally manufactured by the Nazis to help keep their troops awake for days, Yaba has become increasingly popular in the Far East amongst claims that the drug is now bigger than heroin in Thailand.
Yaba is a derivative of synthetic amphetamines such as speed and can be manufactured far more quickly and easily than traditional forms of amphetamine. The recipe has spread from the Far East by word of mouth and on the Internet (no, don't ask us).
We've experienced some difficulty getting a consistent description of ingredients and effects, with some reports stating that the drug is mostly methamphetamine, running 80% pure with much of the cut being castoff from heroin production
The drug usually comes in pill form (often red/orange, sometimes green) and with its potent mix of visuals and intense highs, drug experts predict that it may soon become popular on the UK club scene.
Although yaba is still very rare in the UK, drug experts report that the UK is being targeted by yaba producers from the 'Golden Triangle' - the drug producing areas which straddle the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos.
The main ingredients, which include salt, household cleaning products, distilled cold medicines and lithium from camera batteries, can be bought legally and the drug easily knocked out at home with a couple of casserole dishes and a hob.
The rewards for criminals can be huge. Around £300 of raw materials can make yaba worth more than £2,000 at British street prices. Since the equipment needed is portable, labs can be moved on a regular basis, making it more difficult for police to track them down.
The drug is claimed to create an intense hallucinogenic effect and can keep users awake for days on end, although some users have reported that the only visuals come as a result of sleep deprivation after binge sessions.
Addictive and/or habit-forming. Regular use of the drug has been linked to lung and kidney disorders, hallucinations and paranoia. A frequent hallucination is 'speed bugs' or crank bugs' where users believe that bugs are crawling under their skin and go loopy trying to get them out. In Thailand, the number of students entering rehab to deal with yaba addiction has risen by nearly 1,000% in the past two years (source: Observer 17.10.99) Those coming off the drug are also susceptible to severe depression and suicidal urges.
Spelled it wrong though, it's Pervitin.
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