Yebyu Township sees sharp increase in drug use among teens as authorities do little to combat use and sale

December 28, 2017

According to locals, drug use in Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division has increased sharply as more youths are experimenting with drugs.

In the past, young adolescents were using drugs, but not as much as they are using today. Now, most of the drug addicts are teenagers. They use both methamphetamines and Kratom leaves. No one can control them and no authority arrests them,” said Nai Kon Htaw, an activist in Yebyu.

Previously, the use and sale of drugs in Yebyu was done secretly, now, however, the drug trade operates openly. The lack of arrests has created an environment of impunity for drug dealers and users, leading to an influx of drugs and dealers in Yebyu, according to Nai Kon Htaw.

They sell drugs like they sell vegetables in the market. Drugs are available on every street corner. A pill of premiumquality methamphetamine costs 5,000 kyat (US $3.67) while a midrange pill costs 3,000 kyat (US $2.20). The rich users dont buy a midrange pill as it is bad quality. The 5,000kyat pill is good quality.” said Nai Kon Htaw.

Drug users in Yebyu range in age from 13 to 40 years of age, however, the majority of users are teenagers.

If there is a festive event in villages in Yebyu Township, I am 80% sure that there must be drug use at the event. Even though drugs are widely spread in Yebyu, there is no drug control,” continued Nai Kon Htaw.

According to a central committee member of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), the spread of drugs into Mon State has been huge. Drug use by young people has increased in every township of Mon State, including Thaton, Ye, and Thanbyuzayat.

For more information on the spread and impact of drugs on communities in Mon State and Mon areas of southeast Burma, see HURFOM’s ‘Bitter Pills: Breaking the silence surrounding the drug problem in Mon communities.’


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