ATS (Amphetamine-Type Stimulants)
The cheap, easily accessible, and hard to control nature of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants have given them the title of the second most abused drug worldwide. After cannabis, ATS easily take second place, outdoing heroin and cocaine.
The lasting effect and enduring pleasure produced shortly after intake is the attraction for millions of ATS abusers across our globe. 1 The rising popularity of ATS has recently caused the industry to undergo an industrial revolution.
The recent increase in methamphetamine pills (an ATS drug) consumption in South-East Asia is staggering: numbers of distributed pills have gone from 32 million in 2008, to 133 million in 2010. And the figure looks to increase daily. 2
Organized crime groups have assembled and currently catalyze the illicit distribution of the ATS drugs. Many drug users’ attraction to ATS is due to its low price tag and developing social acceptance.
For a generation seeking the quick and easy fix to life’s realities, these drugs are becoming a part of our culture.
Sadly, many young people resort to ATS drugs in an effort to “ease life’s stresses and strains.” This is becoming more and more commonplace in India – especially our workplace.
Along with this outstanding increase in ATS abuse in South-East Asia, the risk of blood borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C has simultaneously up-surged. Injection is the second most common delivery method for ATS, and as India leans towards harm reduction, the necessary means to administer by needles are becoming increasingly available.
ATS in India
As one of the largest chemical industries in the world, India is a major illegal exporter of ATS derivatives. According to a recent report put out by the UN, India has a relatively short but active history of illegal ATS distribution.
The first Indian ATS laboratory was discovered in Kolkata in May 2003. The laboratory was dismantled and extinguished. In 2004, a laboratory was seized in Hyderabad, and another laboratory was seized in Gurgaon in 2006. Over the last six years law enforcement agencies have uncovered several additional facilities. Attempts to establish facilities for the illicit manufacturing of ATS is becoming more of a problem in India every day. 3
How are ATS taken? 4
- Injected – Liquid
- Snorted – Powder form
- Smoked – Crystals, Liquid
- Oral – Capsules tablets
ATS Side effects and symptoms: 5
- Increased heart rate – heart palpitations
- Faster breathing
- Panic attacks
- Reduced appetite
- Dry mouth
- Dilated pupils
- Sleeping disorders, such as insomnia
- Anxiety – depression
- Mental issues – paranoia, high blood pressure, aggression
- Irregular heart beat
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