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Travelers may be unaware of a drug called kratom before visiting Thailand, but 94% of surveyed Thai teens say they take it, boiling the leaves and mixing it with Coca-Cola and cough syrup.

As the violence-plagued provinces of southern Thailand continue to struggle with a shadowy insurgency, the restive region is battling a new enemy: a drug cocktail made from a local leaf that is seducing the young.

The drug, kratom, is far less debilitating than the methamphetamines and heroin that are trafficked through the area. But its rampant use is enough of a problem that it has caught the attention of the Thai government, and led to increased attempts to stop the trafficking.

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Tags: drugs, thailand

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