A crystal meth epidemic is the last thing North Korea needs to be worried about right now. According to a spring 2013 study included in the North Korea Review, crytal meth (aka "ice" or "bingdu") has passed opium as the country's drug of the moment. Though it was manufactured in government factories to be shipped to China, it somehow made its way to the drug market. Go figure.
The study's authors characterize meth use in the country as common. “Almost every adult in that area (of North Korea) has experienced using ice and not just once,” said study co-author Professor Kim Seok-hyang, who estimated that "40% to 50% are seriously addicted."
This is the first study attempting to address the of illegal drugs in North Korea. Worse, many users consider crystal meth "a social thing" and don't think it's addictive. According to Kim, they believe sleeping the high off for "three or four days" is normal. What's more, meth addicts must then dabble in other drugs to deal address withdrawal. It's an ugly cycle.
North Korea needs to be educated. If watching Breaking Bad or listening to Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" doesn't work, maybe some before and after pictures of meth users will.
[via New York Post]