Asia’s Meth Wars: Speed and brutality in Myanmar’s borderlands (VIDEO)


MYITKYINA, Myanmar — Methamphetamine has become Asia's drug of choice. From Bangkok to Manila, these little pink pills are destroying countless lives across the region.

Most of it is produced here, in the lawless borderlands of Myanmar.

GlobalPost traveled to the heart of the meth trade, Myanmar's northern frontier, where narco-militias crank out speed pills with impunity. Our investigation there uncovered a startling truth: The government of Myanmar, recently emerging from decades of global isolation, supports and profits from this billion-dollar business.

In the borderlands, meth is so cheap and pervasive that the region suffers from one of the highest addiction rates in the world. The situation is so bleak that churchgoers fight a vigilante war their government won't.

Even anti-drug units in neighboring Thailand, armed and trained by the United States, struggle to fend off Myanmar's narco-armies.

In this jungle frontier, the flood of drugs is unstoppable. GlobalPost's short documentary takes you to the front lines of Asia's meth wars.