Friday, March 7, 2014

Meth addicts in China

Long report on StrategyPage about North Korea's drug exports.

some of it ends up here, albeit often as a "way station" to China or elsewhere, often carried by local OFW who are poor and seduced into becoming "Drug mules"...and a couple times a year, we read about a poor Pinoy being executed in China for smuggling drugs.

From SP:

Most of these smugglers are being caught in China, where methamphetamine addiction has become a major problem. But it goes farther than that. In late 2013 five men were arrested in as they prepared to smuggle 100 kg (220 pounds) of 99 percent pure North Korean methamphetamine to the United States via Thailand. North Korea has long been a major supplier of methamphetamine in the region, but using Thailand as a jumping off point for methamphetamine smuggling into North America was new. Because of the U.S. connection Thailand extradited the five (who are British, Filipino, Taiwanese and Slovakian) to the United States for prosecution and, one presumes, intense interrogation.

they also note northern Burma is another source of Meth, which suprrised me since I know them mainly for being a major source of heroin.

the note that Meth addiction in China is a problem hasn't been noted elsewherre, although there are regions with a high rate of heroin addiction, along with a high rate of IV drug spread HIV.

 From AVERT:
 Most of the nearly one million people living with HIV in China, live within six of China’s thirty-three provinces*; Yunnan, Guangxi, Henan, Sichuan, Xingiang and Guangdong. These provinces report the highest number of HIV and AIDS cases, representing around 70 to 80 percent of the national total.7
the hip Shanghiist article:

Heroin? What is this, the 1980s? All of China's hottest drug addicts are smoking Burmese and North Korea crystal meth, and by 'hottest drug addicts' I mean destitute and homeless drug addicts with little to no state support.
Le Monde reports (translated by Worldcrunch):
The Yunnan province in southwestern China, near the border with Burma (Myanmar), was once known for its booming heroin trade. Today, methamphetamines have taken over the market, as synthetic drugs grow more popular in the country. In 2011, 65% of Chinese addicts were heroin users, down 13% since 2008. According to the National Drug Control Commission, methamphetamine users now make up 23% of addicts, up from 9% in 2008.

...As we reported in September 2012, away from the Burmese border, much of the meth being smoked in China originated in North Korea:

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