Meth Seizures Up 80,000 Percent in Bangladesh as Candy-Coated Yaba Pills Take Asia by Storm

John Hayward – April 27, 2017

The language of “dramatic increases” and “soaring crime rates” common to public policy discussions seems inadequate for the meth epidemic in Bangladesh, where drug seizures in rural Islamic communities have increased by eighty thousand percent over the past nine years.

“In the past decade, meth pills flowing into Bangladesh went from a trickle to a tsunami,” reports GlobalPost Investigations. “Just nine years back, police were seizing only about 35,000 pills per year. You could comfortably fit all of that inside a backpack. Annual seizures have since swelled to 29 million pills, an increase of more than 80,000 percent. That’s enough meth to tweak out everyone in Texas – with plenty left over for Nebraska.”

The drug of choice is a little pink pill called “yaba” that combines methamphetamines with caffeine. Yaba is a Thai phrase that means “crazy medicine” or “madness drug.” Side effects can include paranoia and violent psychosis.