Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN discusses new narcotics

UN discusses new narcotics

Lao national Kham Saiyavongsa is pictured with more than 4 kilograms of drugs with which he was apprehended during a cross-border sting operation in March. Photo supplied
Lao national Kham Saiyavongsa is pictured with more than 4 kilograms of drugs with which he was apprehended during a cross-border sting operation in March. Photo supplied

UN discusses new narcotics

ASEAN drug markets continue to be inundated with methamphetamine, while as-yet legally unclassified psychoactive substances are on the rise, attendees at a regional UN conference in Vientiane heard yesterday.

Regional seizures of crystal methamphetamine are up fivefold from what they were just a half decade ago, and the purity of some confiscated batches has been “alarmingly” high, according to conference organiser the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

However, head of the Cambodian National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) Meas Vyrith said yesterday that while regional purity may be up, in Cambodia, meth quality peaked last year and is now on a downward trajectory as dealers adulterate their product with ever more cutting agents.

He attributed this in part to the destruction of what he believes to have been the last of Cambodia’s large-scale meth labs in 2012 and the NACD’s training of law enforcement and border officials to recognise precursor chemicals used in the production of synthetic drugs like meth.

Also on the agenda at yesterday’s conference – which continues this morning – were so-called new psychoactive substances (NPSs), previously unseen drugs that have not yet been covered by countries’ drug legislation, which the UNODC says have seen an increase in trafficking and production.

Vyrith said NPSs had yet to reach Cambodia, but that the Kingdom’s drug police had already begun preparations for the arrival of kratom, a herbal narcotic that he said can be smoked or drank as a tea and puts users in a euphoric, hallucinatory state.

MOST VIEWED

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of