Yaa Baa: Production, Traffic and Consumption of Methamphetamine in Mainland Southeast Asia

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By Joel Meissonnier and Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy

The abuse of methamphetamines in Southeast Asia has become a major problem over the past decade. Thailand has been particularly hard hit: methamphetamine abuse now affects all sectors of Thai society. In the early 1990s, methamphetamine manufacturers moved their laboratories across the border into Burma, and began large-scale production. The new cheaper product, yaa baa or 'madness medicine', flooded the local market and it has also been found in Europe and the United States.

The authors analyse the growth of methamphetamine production in Burma in its political context, which makes the book valuable. There are many books about opium and heroin production in the Golden Triangle, but this is the first about methamphetamines. This book fills an important gap in the literature about the Golden Triangle.


Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy is a Geographer and Research Fellow at CNRS, France.

Joel Meissonnier is a Lecturer at Galatasaray University, Turkey.


Publication Year: 2004
232 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-278-0, Paperback

NUS Press and IRASEC