Drug tourism is a major issue in South East Asia. A number of tourists from Europe, North America and Australia, travel to exotic destinations in South East Asia not just to visit the various attractions and to relax on the beaches, but also to get access to the local drugs. In this article, we take a look at the risks of drug addiction and the legal consequences of drug tourism in South East Asia.
Drug Tourism in South East Asia
Unfortunately, drug culture is closely associated with tourism these days, especially among young travellers looking to have a good time in South East Asia. Hallucinogenic mushroom shakes and ecstasy pills such as Haad Rin are very popular with young party goers in the region.
Many travellers experience these drugs as a matter of routine.
They see it as a part of the culture of the place and are in a very relaxed mood during their trip, which leads them to partake in these drugs, unmindful of the consequences.
It’s not just the backpacking tourists who participate in drug tourism. Even regular, seemingly respectable tourists from all demographics, including middle aged couples, don’t hesitate to take drugs here.
But partaking drugs often comes with serious consequences. Drug related arrests are very common and foreign tourists are often subjected to severe action from the local law enforcement.
The last thing you want is to take back memories of time spent in a prison in Asia for taking drugs, when you get back home eventually. That’s the worst way to spend a holiday in exotic South East Asia for sure!
Finding Drugs is Very Easy in Asia
The main issue seems to be that drugs are very easy to find in South East Asia. There are many regions here that have a very bad reputation as hotspots of illegal drug trade. In Siem Reap, Cambodia, for example, there are pizza shops that sell “happy pizzas” – pizzas topped with a drug of your choice, such as marijuana! They do the advertising openly, without fear of getting caught by the law enforcement.
Similarly, in many islands in Thailand, you can find drug-laden hallucinogenic mushroom shakes. Vang Vieng in Laos is another place where you will find a number of bars and restaurants openly dealing in illegal drugs, ranging from marijuana to prescription drugs.
WARNING: Drug Tourism Can Cost You A Lot!
You should be aware of the risks of drug tourism. Most countries in South East Asia have very strict laws on drugs, and the punishments for those caught indulging in illegal substances such as Meth, Cocaine, etc. can be severe.
Those found guilty could be sent to mandatory drug rehabilitation, or even sent to prison. There are some foreigners who have been found guilty of indulging in the drug trade and have been sentenced to death. When this happens, any appeal from Western governments such as the Australian government for clemency, go ignored.
In Thailand in particular, selling drugs or even imbibing in illegal substances can attract strict legal prosecution. There are random drug tests such as urine tests conducted at night clubs. The police often go undercover as drug sellers and arrest tourists who buy drugs from them.
Such practices are not allowed in the West, but they are legitimate in Thailand. So you have to be doubly careful during your visit to the country and stay away from any type of drug or people that offer to sell drugs to you.
If you are affected by drug addiction and want to know more about drug rehab programs in Thailand or elsewhere in Asia, contact a rehab placement specialist for information about the available options.