El aumento de la represión reducirá la demanda de metanfetaminas, pero ya está causando estragos entre las personas que usan drogas y sus comunidades. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

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By Jeerawat Na Thalang And Paritta Wangkiat

Thirteen years ago Saksiri Vanichanon was one of tens of thousands of addicts caught up in Thaksin Shinawatra's "war on drugs".

Then aged in his mid-twenties, he had first tried heroin when he was 15. He turned toya ba in 1996 after the government shifted methamphetamine on its drug schedule from Category 2 -- which allows medical use -- to Category 1, which carries the most severe penalties, including the death sentence.

Thaksin's crackdown on the drug trade had led to stricter police surveillance and the price of ya ba shot up from 30 baht a pill to more than 200 baht.

Mr Saksiri, now aged 39, said he had to steal money from family and friends to buy ya ba. The Thaksin government's extreme measures made him afraid, but he needed to feed his habit.

"Fear and needs are different matters," he recalled, saying the threat of imprisonment never stopped him from seeking out dealers.