BreaKim Bad: 40-50% Of North Koreans Seriously Addicted To Meth
Perhaps in an effort to numb themselves of the daily grind of a delusional dictator amid widespread starvation, North Koreans have turned en masse to the 'bingdu' or ice. As the WSJ notes, a study in the Spring of 2013 found that "Almost every adult in that area (of North Korea) has experienced using ice and not just once," and the author noted that "at least 40% to 50% are seriously addicted to the drug." Unsurprisingly for the closed nation, there is no official data, but as poppy fields disappeared in the nation, meth dealers were quick to step in and 'Heisenberg' the people's needs. Now "doing ice is a social thing; it is a lot of fun," as the 'epidemic' has spread from mid-ranking officials and police officers in 2004-2008 to the general population of students and youth now.
North Korea is experiencing a “drug epidemic,” according to a study published in the Spring 2013 edition of the journal North Korea Review.
“A New Face of North Korean Drug Use: Upsurge in Methamphetamine Abuse Across the Northern Areas of North Korea” explains how during the past several years meth production has gone from government-owned factories to privately run underground laboratories and “home kitchens.”
Throughout the 1990s and into the next decade, opium was the narcotic of choice for both the cash-strapped Kim Jong Il regime and the populace. But by the mid 2000s, the poppy fields began to disappear and meth became pervasive.
“Almost every adult in that area (of North Korea) has experienced using ice and not just once,” says Kim Seok-hyang, who co-authored the study. “I estimate that at least 40% to 50% are seriously addicted to the drug.”
“They say you can stop it whenever you want. All you need to do is sleep all day long, for three or four days,” she says.
“People who are addicted to ice cannot sleep, so they buy sleeping pills off the black market as a counterbalance to the drug,” says Kim Young-il, who heads the Seoul-based refugee association PSCORE.
Not all North Koreans are able to shake off their dependency on drugs even after making it to South Korea.
“I wouldn’t do it again, even if I had the chance,” he says. “My experimenting days are over.”
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