Saudi Arabia fact of the day

Saudi Arabia accounted for 28 per cent of all global amphetamine seizures in 2006, the latest year for which data are available…

Yes there are enforcement differentials and various measurement biases, but that still sounds like a lot of amphetamines, especially for a country of only about 27 million people.  Here is the full story.

Comments

Too much money makes you bored? No challenge in life makes you willing to try recreational drugs? I really know nothing about Saudi society. Just speculating.

There must be an imbalance between the severity of the punishments for drug crimes (low) and the amount spent on enforcement (high) to create such an outcome. Except that I don't think of Saudi Arabia as a soft-on-crime kind of place. I think of them as a chop off your hands kind of place. Maybe that's an outdated conception.

I wonder what exactly "amphetamine" means. In the US, the most obvious amphetamine drug used today is methamphetamine, but ADHD medications (Adderall and Ritalin, widely abused by students, and some would say abused by everyone who uses them) are also very much amphetamines. Also, MDMA (ecstasy) is sometimes classified as an amphetamine, even though its usage patterns are pretty different from traditional amphetamines. Also, whereas meth and ADHD medications are habit-forming and can be pretty destructive, MDMA is generally used much more sparingly and, frankly, safely.

...further complicating the story is the fact that the FT talks a lot about cocaine in the article, despite the fact that cocaine isn't an amphetamine.

When I first read that, I thought "seizure" referred to a medical outcome from misuse/overdose. Without reading the article (too lazy to register), I might guess that the seizures reported to UNDOC are those made by national government police agencies, which would lead to missing most of the seizures made in the U.S.

Amphetimenes are pretty common drugs for hard working laborers, oil workers in the US and (I'd guess Saudi Arabia) probably all use uppers to a much greater proportion than the national population.

"Adderall and Ritalin, widely abused by students, and some would say abused by everyone who uses them"

Yeah, anyone with ADD who uses medication to control their condition is just "abusing" it. Just like when those dirty paraplegics abuse their wheelchairs to get around. It's so unfair when people with disabilities use an aid to let them function in the world like normal people! They should just suffer in their proper place and not try to compete with their betters.

/sarcasm

Sorry, but I hate it when people don't take ADD seriously as a real learning disability or stigmatize ADDers for using drugs to balance their brain chemistry, as if just trying to be normal is somehow an unfair advantage! Please, do a little research, and read about the fact that brain scans of ADDers before and after medicating show that an ADD brain on amphetamines functions much more like the brain of a "normal" non-ADD control group member than it did without amphetamines. I think that's pretty strong evidence that amphetamines are a legitimate, effective treatment for ADD, and not just a drug ADDers abuse to get high.

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In Japan, many medicines like Sudafed (containing Pseudoephedrine) are illegal and constituted as amphetamines. God only knows what the law is like in Saudi Arabia, but could it be possible that they are claiming things like that?

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