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(crazy medicine, pronounced yar bah)

Originally manufactured by the Nazis to help keep their troops awake for days, Yaba has become increasingly popular in the Far East amongst claims that the drug is now bigger than heroin in Thailand.

Yaba is a derivative of synthetic amphetamines such as speed and can be manufactured far more quickly and easily than traditional forms of amphetamine. The recipe has spread from the Far East by word of mouth and on the Internet (no, don't ask us).

We've experienced some difficulty getting a consistent description of ingredients and effects, with some reports stating that the drug is mostly methamphetamine, running 80% pure with much of the cut being castoff from heroin production


The drug usually comes in pill form (often red/orange, sometimes green) and with its potent mix of visuals and intense highs, drug experts predict that it may soon become popular on the UK club scene.

Although yaba is still very rare in the UK, drug experts report that the UK is being targeted by yaba producers from the 'Golden Triangle' - the drug producing areas which straddle the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos.

The main ingredients, which include salt, household cleaning products, distilled cold medicines and lithium from camera batteries, can be bought legally and the drug easily knocked out at home with a couple of casserole dishes and a hob.

The rewards for criminals can be huge. Around £300 of raw materials can make yaba worth more than £2,000 at British street prices. Since the equipment needed is portable, labs can be moved on a regular basis, making it more difficult for police to track them down.


Side effects:
The drug is claimed to create an intense hallucinogenic effect and can keep users awake for days on end, although some users have reported that the only visuals come as a result of sleep deprivation after binge sessions.

Health risks:
Addictive and/or habit-forming. Regular use of the drug has been linked to lung and kidney disorders, hallucinations and paranoia. A frequent hallucination is 'speed bugs' or crank bugs' where users believe that bugs are crawling under their skin and go loopy trying to get them out. In Thailand, the number of students entering rehab to deal with yaba addiction has risen by nearly 1,000% in the past two years (source: Observer 17.10.99) Those coming off the drug are also susceptible to severe depression and suicidal urges.

Detection periods: unknown

The Law: unknown.

more info:

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Special note:
This site is all about harm reduction. We realise that some people will take drugs no matter what advice they are given, so we have reproduced this guide for information purposes only. It is not medical advice. If you are being coerced into taking drugs, or are in any doubt about taking a substance, our advice is to always refuse.

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