Around the world, it’s cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription drug abuse that normally grab the headlines. It appears that more attention should be paid to amphetamine-type stimulants. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), amphetamine- type stimulants (ATS) are the up-and-coming drugs across the world, attracting users faster than any other type of drug.
Clark Carr, President of Narconon International, commented, „Addictive and damaging amphetamine-type drugs have long been the scourge of the Western United States, and now they have picked up speed in their distribution to new regions of the world. The only good news to this situation is that Narconon® has been successful rehabilitating such stimulant addicts.“
The new UN report, the 2011 Global ATS Assessment, observed that ATS drugs such as ecstasy, amphetamines and methamphetamine are now the second most widely used drug after cannabis. What makes the fight against these drugs harder is that they are completely synthetic, so they don’t need proximity to growing fields of opium poppies or cannabis. A drug manufacturer just needs a supply of precursor chemicals, plentifully manufactured in China, India and other areas. Even if a precursor chemical is not available, it’s possible to get other chemicals that are more readily available and synthesize the precursor.
ATS have been typically manufactured close to consumer markets, meaning that little transport is involved. This makes it harder to track and seize the drugs. As international organized crime groups seize this growing opportunity to reap profits from the addiction and destruction of others, the patterns of production and trafficking have begun to shift. With the involvement of organized crime groups, international manufacturing and distribution networks are being developed that share suppliers, resources and personnel.
The UN report notes increases in ATS manufacture and use in Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia, countries that were previously transit countries for this type of drug. Countries with criminal drug manufacturing groups that seem to be jumping on the bandwagon include Japan, Republic of Korea and Thailand plus several countries in West Africa.
In Southeast Asia, seizures of pills made of ATS rocketed up from 32 million in 2008 to 93 million in 2009 and 133 million in 2010. The fact that ATS can be ingested and doesn’t need to be injected makes it more popular with people who associate the drugs with a modern and dynamic lifestyle, or for people who feel like they need these drugs to cope with long hours or extended physical labor, such as truck drivers.
„Many people see little hazard in using these drugs as part of a club or music scene,“ said Mr. Carr. „They underestimate the dangers and addictiveness of the drugs. ATS can be very quickly addictive for many people. Indeed, methamphetamine and ecstasy use can in some cases create severe cravings after just one use. It is possible to need drug rehabilitation services after just a short period of use of ATS“.
Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers located on six continents offer a long-term program that has good success with those addicted to ATS. One of the key features of this program is a sauna sweat-out detoxification procedure that enables the recovering addict to flush out drug toxins that remain behind after drug use. These residual toxins have been found to have multiple negative effects in body and mind.
When residues are flushed out using a combination of nutritional supplements, moderate exercise and time spent in a low-heat sauna, life can recover the brightness that was lost during drug use. This process is called the Narconon New Life Detoxification Program and is part of every person’s drug recovery at a Narconon center.
„One of the most damaging and dangerous effects of ATS addiction is that the person trying to achieve sobriety is hounded by long-term drug cravings,“ added Mr. Carr. „The crushing fatigue and depression that follow stopping these stimulants are also deterrents to long lasting sobriety“.
„Fortunately, cravings, fatigue and depression are no match for the Narconon drug rehabilitation program. As residues from these drugs are flushed out, recovering addicts report restored ability to think clearly and improved mood and greatly reduced cravings. Around the world, seven out of ten Narconon graduates remain sober after they go home, even those recovering from ATS addiction.“
Internationally, the problem will be solved by putting international crime organizations out of business, by educating young people on why they should avoid drug use and by rehabilitating those who get trapped in addiction. Narconon centers provide education as well as rehabilitation to prevent young people from becoming drug users as the United Nations continues to bring international attention to this growing problem.
For more information on the Narconon Rehab and Detox Program, please visit www.narconon.org