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Youths in cities falling victims to party drug, Yaba



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By Purushottam P. Khatri


Kathmandu, Dec :9 Youths in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other major cities in Nepal are more likely to become victims of Yaba culture, an illegal practice of taking banned drugs, especially in parties and amusement centres, police officials familiar with these drugs said Monday.
Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of Nepal Police said that the illegal import and consumption of Yaba drugs, also known as crazy or horse pill, was gradually increasing in Nepal.
According to Birendra Kumar Bashyal, Superintendent of Police (SP) at NCB, Yaba and methamphetamine, called ‘ice’ in South Asia, was developing like a party drug in Nepal as its use happens among youths and teenagers when they would meet friends in parties.
Teenagers use it by putting it in e-hookah, cigarette and Shisha which can be found in restaurants and dance bars, he said.
Besides increasing consumption, Nepal is also becoming a transit point for its smuggling to India, Australia, and New Zealand. The drug is brought mainly from Thailand and Burma, SP Bashyal said.
Yaba is also called a hard drug in Nepal which is produced from Pharmaceuticals and only a few people can afford it, he said.
According to a record of NCB, it had seized 6.929 kilograms of Yaba with 28 tablets of Yaba and 325 grams of methamphetamine (ice) in the last seven years, from 2013 from 2019.
On Sunday last week, the NCB detained international Nepali Yaba drug racketeer Odgen Lama, 56, of Gorkha, and seized 881 Yaba tablets and one kilogram and 229 grams of methamphetamine (ice) from him.
According to police, Lama had been running this racket in Kathmandu and Pokhara from India. He was arrested last Sunday from Dhumbarahi of Kathmandu.
Dinesh Amatya, DIG and chief of NCB, suggested guardians in Nepal should increase surveillance to their children as they are more prone to get addicted to this drug in the name of attending friends birthday and night parties.
“We have also increased our surveillance in some pharmaceutical drug shops which have got license to sell the illegal drugs,” DIG Amatya said.
What is Yaba?
According to NCB, the word Yaba came from yama of Thailand which means a ‘mad or horse drug’ in Thai language.
The word Yaba (crazy pill) came into use in 1996. In Burma, it is also known as button and athi. In Malaysia, its literal name is pil kuda (horse pill), shabu in the Philippines and Indonesia, ma-guo in China and Bhul Bhulaiya in India.
Appearance and Use
Yaba is typically produced in a round pill form. There are many different colours, and the most common are red, orange, or lime green in colour and carry logos such as “R” or “WY”.
They are small and round, roughly 6 millimetres (0.24 in) in diameter, which means they can be packed inside a plastic soda straw for easy transportation or in a reusable “mint” container.
Yaba tablets typically are consumed orally. Users also place the Yaba tablet on aluminum foil and heat it from below. As the tablet melts, vapors rise and are inhaled which is called ‘chasing the dragon.’
The drug also may be administered by crushing the tablets into powder, which is then snorted or mixed with a solvent and injected.
When swallowed in a pill form, the duration of the drug’s effect last between 8–16 hours, as compared to 1–3 hours when smoked. Many of the Yaba users are male compared to female users, according to the NCB.

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