FILIPINOS rank third in the world in consumption of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) like "shabu" or "crack," according to a United Nations study.
A global survey by the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on the use of Ecstasy and amphetamines in 52 countries showed Thailand as the biggest ATS user, followed by Australia and the Philippines. Other top ATS users are Ireland, Japan, Britain, Estonia, Poland, Spain, Nigeria, the United States, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands.
The UNODC estimates the ATS business value at about 65 billion dollars a year, with profit rates ranging between 3,000 and 4,000 percent of capital.
In the Philippines, illegal drugs have become a 216-billion-peso to 432-billion-peso industry.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Jose Lina said it would take a determined effort by the government to crush the multibillion-peso drug trade.
According to a 1999 survey, there are at least 1.8 million regular drug users in the country who consumed an average of five to 10 grams of shabu monthly. A gram of shabu costs about 2,000 pesos. . . .