VIENTIANE (Xinhua) – Authorities in Laos are increasingly concerned with the use of amphetamine class drugs in the country’s booming construction sector, the state-run Vientiane Times reported Friday.
Speaking to the state-run Vientiane Times, Chairman of the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision Kou Chansina said some operators of major projects in mining and road construction were reporting detection of problematic drug illegal use among workers.
“We are concerned about this issue because amphetamine consumption among these groups of laborers is increasing,” Kou said.
Amphetamine-class drugs work as stimulants to raise energy and attention levels during the period of intoxication making them popular among some users not only for recreational use but also for providing a boost at work.
Kou said a combination of preventative public education including awareness-raising campaigns coupled with treatment for users was seen as the best way to reduce demand.
The geography of Laos presents challenges to interdiction efforts.
The land-locked country has borders of some 5,000 km with its more populous neighbours that provide opportunities for smuggling operations to go undetected.
Meeting Thailand and Myanmar in the region known as the golden triangle more well-known historically for its opium production, it is amphetamines that are now the major cause of concern.
Laos is primarily seen as a transit country across which distribution networks attempt to move illicit product from point of manufacture to bigger markets.a