Ya ba Is More Addictive Than You Dare Imagine

Articles, Australia, International, Understanding Addiction

Variously known as Ya ba, yaba, yah bah in Thai this highly addictive drug translates into English as “Mad Drug’’.

It was originally known as Ya Ma; Horse Drug, because it was given to horses pulling heavy loads up mountains in the far northern Shan State of Thailand.

These two facts alone should warn you to stay away from this mix of methamphetamine and caffeine that is produced in tablet form.

How is it used?

Tablets are circular and generally coloured red, pink or orange. Four ways the drug is taken are by swallowing, smoking, snorting or injecting.

Those who swallow a pill will find the drug can affect them for between 8 and 16 hours. To smoke the pill, it is placed on aluminium foil, heated from below under a yellow flame, and as it melts the vapour is inhaled using a ‘paper’ straw. This high can last anywhere between 1-3 hours with a reduced intensity.

Some users crush their ‘tab’ and snort it while fewer crush it, mix it with a solvent and inject it. Those advanced addicts who do inject drugs prefer the ‘pure’ product of ice (methamphetamine) once their drug addiction has reached such a stage.

‘Positive’ effects:

One thing is for sure, those regularly using Ya ba will forfeit much needed sleep time. This drug will keep you alert and awake for extended periods. This state is further compounded by the fact the drug is extremely moreish.

‘’Once bitten twice shy” certainly does not apply when using Ya ba. One tab is never enough, then again neither are two!

Euphoria and hot flushes are common, incessant talking affects many, sitting still for long periods is not on the agenda, and any thoughts of eating take a back seat.

Negative effects:

We all know that where there is a drug high, a low must eventually follow. Ya ba offers many unwanted effects.

When a user is high increased irritability and aggression can be added to the mix, we have already mentioned insomnia, and should not forget the potential damage you are causing to smaller blood vessels of the brain. Increases are also guaranteed in terms of your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.

Once you are completely down from your Ya ba experience many find their mood is low, they snap at others unnecessarily and feel very depressed.

Really negative effects!

Due to the highly addictive qualities of this drug many users go on Ya ba binges that can last anything from a full weekend to an incredible 10 days. Needless to say this length of continual drug taking does you no good whatsoever.

The reason for these extended sessions is because a user is continually chasing that originally high. If such thoughts are in your mind, please forget them, that initial high will not be recaptured.

Yes, you may get close to it, and yes, this will encourage yet more Ya ba to be taken, but the truth is you will simply achieve a constant state of disorientation where the clock means very little.

Binge use will bring on many unwanted problems. Body, and particularly hand tremors will be yours, high blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, nervousness and the inability to stay still accompany memory loss and confusion.

Those at the thick-end of a long Ya ba session often lose control completely with many turning violent without any provocation.

Where to turn if Ya ba is getting the better of you:

Coming off this drug alone is a very difficult thing to achieve. The cravings you will have are stronger than the majority of user’s willpower. It is a fact that constant thoughts and feelings of need for ‘just one more tab’ will linger longer than your decision to self-quit.

Professional rehab services are required to assist with treatment and recovery. While voluntary organisations are there to assist and perform an admirable job, it is felt by many that a stay as an inpatient in a quality rehab establishment is the most effective platform to help you come off, and stay off this highly potent substance.

There is NO shame in seeking help:

Anyone who is overindulging in Ya ba should never be ashamed to admit the fact this drug has currently got the better of them.

If it is strong enough to aid horses dragging heavy loads up mountains, it is certainly strong enough to grab and hold your attention for far longer than you wish.

Don’t let this drug destroy your life due to the fact you are too proud or scared to seek help. Professional rehab staff are there for a very good reason. They have chosen this career to assist and treat men and women addicted to substances such as Ya ba. Please let them help you. It will be a life changing decision you will not regret.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.
If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction, contact one of our therapists today.
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