The use of crystal meth is becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam, resulting in more serious crimes being committed, including homicide, by people who are high on the drug.
Crystal meth, which is short for crystal methamphetamine, is a strong stimulant that acts on the central nervous system and is mainly used for recreation by users all over the world.
The drug usually gives a short-lived but intense high, which can make users feel paranoid, angry, hostile and anxious, followed by severe depression, edginess and a craving for more of the drug.
Regardless of users’ gender or physical condition, they are equally susceptible to the drug’s short-term effects, including hallucinations, sleep disorders, increased heartbeat and body temperatures, violent behavior and sometimes death from overdose.
Long-term effects include permanent damage to the blood vessels and increased risk of stroke, or heart attack.
Hallucination is one of the main factors contributing to the strange and often violent activity of meth users that potentially leads to serious crimes.
Some users experiencing hallucinations have committed suicide, throwing themselves off buildings or perpetrated crimes including illicit street racing, resulting in fatalities, H., a 40-year-old meth dealer in Tan Phu District of Ho Chi Minh City, said while showing one of her clients how to use the drug correctly.
V., a meth user in the north-central province of Nghe An, admitted that he and his friends often get intoxicated throughout the night in local hostels, costing them hundreds of dollars a time.
V.D.T., a 27-year-old from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District, and D., 47, who lives in District 5, often wander around their neighborhoods after using meth at night to engage in random confrontations and violence, resulting in their isolation from the rest of the community, according to local citizens.
Crystal meth is a highly active stimulant often causing paranoia, making users commit crimes that are physically and mentally damaging to themselves as well as the rest of the society, according to Nguyen Huu Duc, a pharmacist from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
The drug directly affects users’ central nervous system, especially the neurotransmitter called serotonin, which can potentially lead to an imbalance in bodily temperature and result in death, the expert added.
In Vietnam, there have been several cases in which the addictive stimulant caused users to lose touch with reality, making them engage in many types of criminal activity, including property damage, assault, and even murder.
On Sunday morning, officers from the Hanoi Department of Fire Fighting and Prevention rescued a 40-year-old woman allegedly high on drugs after she set her house on fire and rejected the neighbors’ efforts to save her.
Ma Dinh Tiep, 24, stabbed one of his uncles to death and injured another after using crystal meth in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on November 4.
On October 16, Tran Minh Man, a 40-year-old man living in District 8 in Ho Chi Minh City, set fire to a taxi after he ambushed and forced the driver to take him to District 9 while he was under the influence of the dangerous drug.
Do Duc Manh Hung, 26, murdered his own parents while high on crystal meth in the northern province of Nam Dinh.
On August 26 this year, 29-year-old Nguyen Quoc Huy from Ho Chi Minh City was sentenced to death by the municipal People’s Court for the assault of his grandmother and two nephews on April 23, 2014.
In his case, crystal meth created the extreme hallucination that his family members were devils, and therefore he attacked them, according to the convict’s statement.