ATS Takes Over The Drug Market

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According to the latest United Nations report, the illegal market of Amphetamine-type stimulants including ecstasy and crystal meth is on the rise, especially in the Southeast Asian market. The easy to make Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) have become the second most widely used drugs next to cannabis and more and more criminal gangs are cashing on them. In its report on 2011 Global ATS Assessment, the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) stated the rise in ATS trade based on the increment in police seizures from the year 2005 to 2009. It also published in its report that the raided quantities of heroin, cocaine and cannabis remained almost stable over the years.

According to the UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, the ATS market has evolved from a small scale cottage industry to a big market with the assistance of organised crime groups at all levels of the production and supply chain. The manufacturing part is generally done by the West African countries which supply it through East Asia to Central and South American countries. The report also highlights the increase in drug activities in Southeast Asia based on the number of ATS laboratory shutdowns and pills seized in the region. Compared to the traditional drugs, Amphetamine-type stimulants are relatively easier to produce and procure, thus making them difficult to control.

The UNODC is continuously making efforts to curb the drug market and increase investment and aid to vulnerable countries and regions. It has called upon the entire international community to fight against this menace by improving the information gathering system about the trade and manufacture of ATS. Despite this, some governments still do not have a proper ATS trade monitoring system which is evident from the fact that they do not have a reliable drug related statistics and related infrastructure. New stimulants called analog substances are widely available on the internet. They are an emerging form of drugs and fall outside the international controls, as of now, due to this reason. A few recently discovered drugs such as mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone are sold as a substitute for cocaine and go by the name of “bath salts” or “plant food”. The main issue of concern arising out of its use is the spread of intravenous diseases such as AIDS and HIV. It is specially a matter of concern for the under developed and developing nations of South and East Asia.


Editor :   Health Filed under Healthcare.

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