The Straits Times
Published on Dec 12, 2012

UN says methamphetamine threat to Asia still high


BANGKOK (AP) - The powerful form of methamphetamine known as crystal meth is rapidly gaining market share among the traders and users of illicit stimulants in East and Southeast Asia, the United Nations' anti-drug agency said Wednesday.

In its annual report on amphetamine-type stimulants in the region, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said those substances are the most-used or second-most-used illicit drugs in 13 of the 15 Asia-Pacific countries surveyed.

The report also said that methamphetamine seizures in East and Southeast Asia represent nearly half of the world's total.

While the number of methamphetamine pills seized in 2011 dropped 9 percent from the year before to nearly 123 million, seizures of crystalline methamphetamine - or crystal meth - rose by 23 percent to 8.8 metric tons, which was nearly twice the 2009 total of 4.8 metric tons, the report said.