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Southeast Asia ‘swimming in synthetic drugs’

This figure shows the scale of production as well as the illegal drug trade in the region, the United Nations (UN) confirmed on May 30.

Last year, functional forces in East Asia and Southeast Asia seized nearly 172 tons of synthetic drugs in various states, including about 91 tons of synthetic drugs in pill form (more than 1 billion pills).

The amount of synthetic drugs in pellets recovered in 2021 is seven times higher than in the previous 10 years, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its latest report.

  United Nations: Southeast Asia is swimming in synthetic drugs

The volume of synthetic drugs in pill form in East Asia and Southeast Asia will exceed 1 billion pills for the first time in 2021. Photo: AP

At the press conference to announce the above report in Bangkok – Thailand, UNODC representative in Southeast Asia Jeremy Douglas affirmed that this area is literally “swimming in synthetic drugs”.

Share with news agency APMr. Douglas said the above-mentioned drugs were mainly consumed in Southeast Asia but were also transported to New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong (China), South Korea and Japan. In addition, drugs are also “flowing” to South Asia more and more.

“Illegal production and transportation of drugs has increased sharply again while the supply is concentrated in the Mekong region, especially Thailand, Laos and Myanmar,” said Douglas.

The increased supply has resulted in lower prices of synthetic drugs and easier access, posing a greater risk to people and communities in the region, the UNODC report asserts.

According to Mr. Douglas, when he went to Southeast Asia to work for the first time between 2002-2007, a synthetic drug cost 5-6 times higher than it is now.

  United Nations: Southeast Asia is swimming in synthetic drugs

The increased supply causes the price of synthetic drugs to decrease and become more accessible, creating a higher risk to people and communities. Photo: AP

  United Nations: Southeast Asia is swimming in synthetic drugs

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