WE are deeply concerned by a recent report of this newspaper revealing that about 50 lakh Yaba pills are trafficked into the country and consumed every day, most of which come from Myanmar.
According to the US National Drug Intelligence Centre, Yaba causes rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain that can lead to stroke. Chronic use can result in inflammation of the heart lining. Overdoses can cause elevated body temperature, convulsions, and death.
Individuals who use Yaba also may have episodes of violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. Those who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks, including contracting HIV hepatitis B and C.
Literally 'crazy medicine' in Thai, Yaba is taking its toll on its users, mostly the urban youth. It has also ravaged a number of small towns and villages across the country, according to news reports.
We welcome the recent meeting between the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC), Bangladesh and a delegation representing the Central Committee for Drug Abuse and Control (CCDAC) of Myanmar who agreed to identify gangs producing and trafficking Yaba pills into Bangladesh and take actions against them. Apart from that the Myanmar authorities must also identify and dismantle the yaba producing factories near the border of the two countries
However, it is not merely a law enforcement issue. We believe combating the menace of Yaba demands well-coordinated efforts with participation of people from all walks of life including parents, teachers, media and social organisations.