What The Hell Is Syabu ?

Top: pic from The Sun on customs discovering syabu in luggage in KLIA Left: a retail packet of syabu

While many of us know that shabu-shabu is Japanese steamboat, not many know about the drug called shabu or syabu.

We read a lot in the newspapers about police making syabu raids, drug addicts getting jailed and rotan for syabu possession. We also read about Iranian syndicates smuggling syabu into the country.

Having possession and trafficking of syabu is illegal in Malaysia under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. If you're an addict, possessing just about 61.8g (3 tablespoons) of syabu can get you sentenced to 15 years jail and 10 strokes of the rotan. If you're a trafficker, you could be sentenced to death by hanging.

So what the hell is this syabu thing ?

Syabu (also called "ice", "speed", "crystal", "glass", "meth" or "blue diamond" on the streets) is the colloquial name for the psycho-stimulant drug called Amphetamine. Amphetamine is known to increase energy and attention while decreasing appetite and fatigue. Apparently during World War II and the Viet Nam War, amphetamines were widely used as stimulants to keep the soldiers fighting, increasing their alertness and energy while going on without sleep and much food. It gave them false confidence making them bold, daring and feeling invincible.

Amphetamine is related to drugs such as methamphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Long term use of of syabu causes brain damage, depression and other psychosomatic illnesses.

Today, it is generally taken as a recreational drug as it enables one to party all night. It is also believed to be widely used by those working in the fringes of society: prostitutes, GROs, robbers and gangsters, as it makes them hyperactive all night long, bold and daring to commit acts which they would normally be socially restrained to do. It is also apparently common for taxi drivers, bus drivers, night club bouncers and mat rempits to be on syabu. Women addicts take syabu to keep slim as it prevents them from getting hungry.

Syabu is not only addictive, it eventually impairs your performance. Experts say, after taking syabu for a year, you become dependent on syabu and cannot perform normally without it.

If you want to know more, read these stories about Types of Party Drugs and Party Drugs That Kill.

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