Chiang Mai is the largest significant city in northern Thailand. It is also the capital of Chiang Mai Providence. The drug abuse situation in Thailand during 2004 through 2008 became much more serious than it was in 2003. The following factors are associated with the drug problems increasing in Thailand.
In 2007, studies show that in Thailand the large cities like Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket have drug addiction problems that are growing; their preferred drugs of choice are heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, opium, marijuana, mitragyna speciosa, toluene, cocaine, and codeine.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant that’s highly addictive; this stimulant has a major effect on the central nervous system. Methamphetamine is generally smoked, snorted, injected or ingested orally. A study in 2007 showed that methamphetamine accounted for almost 70 percent of all the drug addictions throughout Thailand.
Ecstasy also referred to as MDMA, is a man-made (synthetic) drug that produces hallucinogenic effects and creates euphoria sensations. Most of the time, it comes in a tablet or pill form and is ingested orally.
Opium comes from the opium plant and is a form of morphine. Codeine, morphine, heroin and thebaine are the main opiates in this drug class.
Marijuana is produced from the Cannabis sativa plant and is a mind altering substance. Users smoke marijuana, mix in foods or consumed as a beverage and brewed like tea.
Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) is a plant and has been commonly abused in Thailand. The leaves are referred to as kratom and at one time, were used as a painkiller. This potent stimulant can still be found in Thailand and Malaysia.
Toluene is a liquid that’s colorless and found in paints, lacquer and paint thinners to name a few. This chemical is often abused by sniffing and is referred to as inhalant abuse.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is highly powerful and addictive. This drug is commonly abused by snorting, injecting, and smoking.
Codeine is in a class of drugs that are referred to as narcotic pain medicine or painkillers that are used to treat pain.
Ketamine is an anesthetic that is primarily used as a veterinary anesthetic. When abused, it is for the hallucinogenic effects individuals receive. Many people snort ketamine, mix in beverages, or add it to marijuana or tobacco and smoke it.
Drug smuggling is a major problem, and takes place close by the border area. The most illegal drugs in Thailand are snuck or smuggled in from adjoining countries via border areas. These drugs include methamphetamine, cannabis (marijuana), heroin, and some club drugs. The main areas where these illegal drugs come in from are located in eighteen districts in eight border provinces.
Twenty six provinces have very serious drug situations, they represent 70 percent of all the areas that face serious drug problems around the country. Illegal drugs are extremely widespread and are easily brought into Thailand.
Today, Thailand is affected by the economic recession just like many other countries around the world. The country is facing political conflict, high rates in crime, unemployment, and poverty.
According to an article written by the Asia Times, addictive drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, opium, ketamine, cocaine and ecstasy are continuing to pour through its penetrating borders. Over the past year though, there have been ample sized seizures of narcotics in Thailand. The daily Bangkok Post reported that on May 29th, 300,000 methamphetamine pills were confiscated in Bangkok. On June 22, in Northern Province of Chiang Mai, there was an interception of a six-wheel truck that was in route to Bangkok with 1.2 million methamphetamine tablets inside. Even though progress seems to be made from time to time, Thailand may be fighting a losing battle when it comes to drug abuse and drug trafficking.