The United Nations says methamphetamines have become the main drug of abuse across much of East and Southeast Asia.
In a report released Tuesday on drug use in the region, the UN.Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said recent seizures of illegal drug labs show methamphetamines and similar drugs are now being produced on an industrial scale.
The report said nearly 40 million methamphetamine pills were seized across the region in 2006, in addition to more than eight tons of crystal methamphetamine.
The report said among the countries surveyed, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand cited amphetamine-type stimulants as their main drug abuse problem in 2006.
It also said Burma, China, Malaysia and Vietnam listed heroin as their top drug problem last year. But the UN office said the notion of East Asia being dominated by opiates is outdated.
The report also said authorities across Asia seized 64 clandestine drug labs in the region in 2006, compared with 48 the year before. But the UNODC said the actual figure could reach more than 100 as reports from last year continue to arrive from China.
Information for this story is provided by AP and AFP.