Police are concerned about a rise in the use of ya ice (crystal methamphetamine) in Phuket and nearby provinces, and say drug dealers are falsely touting the powerful stimulant as a skin whitening agent to lure in new users.
The proliferation of ya ice use is particularly pronounced among Phuket youths. Despite the lack of any medical research or scientific proof, they believe skin whitening is a positive side effect, he said.
“These drug traffickers are clever. They propagate these beliefs among youths, who accept it without proof. The only thing we can prove about ya ice is that it can [negatively] effect your physical and mental health,” he said.
“The sad part is that there are a lot of people falling for the trick, many of them first-time users,” he added.
The ongoing obsession for light skin among Thais, especially women, has no real equivalent in the West. It is continually reinforced in television commercials touting skin whitening creams, armpit-whitening deodorants and myriad other consumer products promoted by beautiful, light-complexioned models.
Extracts from a Phuket Gazette article by Warisa Temram (original). Published 30 September 2011.