What Is Yaba? Dangers Of Caffeine-Laced Meth

Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Yaba is an illicit drug that comes from Southeast Asia. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the drug — also known as “crazy medicine” — contains a dangerous mixture of methamphetamine (meth) and caffeine.

The use of yaba has been associated with a number of adverse side effects, including cardiovascular problems, convulsions, overdose, and death.

Yaba can also be addictive. 

What Type Of Drug Is Yaba?

Yaba is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant drug, also known as crazy medicine and “Nazi speed.” 

Its primary ingredients are meth and caffeine. This makes its effects similar to other illicit stimulants like illicit amphetamines and crystal meth.

What Does Yaba Look Like?

Yaba is produced in tablet form. According to the DOJ, yaba tablets in the United States are very small and typically bright-colored — either green or reddish.

Yaba tablets may also be printed with a logo. The most common logos found on yaba tablets are ‘R’ and ‘WY.’

Where Does Yaba Come From?

Yaba comes from Southeast Asia and East Asia. 

In the 1970s, yaba pills were outlawed in Thailand. They’ve shown up in a number of Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

In the United States, yaba has become popular among Asian communities, and is sometimes taken during raves and parties, similar to other common club drugs.

What Is The English Name Of Yaba?

“Yaba” is a Thai term that in English means “crazy medicine.” 

This is why the drug is often referred to on the illicit drug market, or by those who use it, by the street name “crazy medicine.”

What Happens When You Use Yaba?

Yaba can cause a wide range of effects similar to other stimulants. 

Common short-time side effects include:

  • rapid heart rate
  • increased energy
  • euphoria
  • lightheadedness
  • increased blood pressure
  • wakefulness

But those who use yaba have also reported other, adverse side effects that may get worse over time with chronic drug use.

Risks And Dangers Of Using Yaba

Illicit stimulants like yaba can pose a number of dangers. Some people have reported erratic behavior, insomnia, and severe psychological effects.

Primary risks and dangers of yaba include:

  • heart problems
  • damage to blood vessels in the brain
  • stroke
  • hallucinations
  • hyperthermia (high body temperature)
  • aggression
  • paranoia
  • convulsions
  • drug overdose
  • death

Because the production of yaba isn’t federally regulated, the drug can also sometimes be cut with other drugs, such as heroin, which can have toxic effects.

Although yaba comes in tablet form, it can be injected, smoked, or swallowed, with each method of use posing their own additional health risks and dangers.

Injecting yaba, for instance, can place you at risk for dangers specifically associated with injection drug use, such as contracting HIV, or hepatitis B and C.

Is Yaba Addictive?

Yes. Yaba can cause physical dependence and has the potential to be addictive.

That is, with chronic use over time, you may feel compelled to continue using yaba, despite negative consequences it has on your health or general way of life.

Signs of yaba addiction include:

  • craving yaba
  • using yaba more often or in higher doses over time
  • feeling unable to control your use
  • experiencing withdrawal with reduced or stopped use

Addiction Treatment Options For Caffeine-Laced Meth Addiction

Yaba addiction is treatable, and can be overcome with the help of licensed addiction treatment professionals who are experienced in treating illicit drug addiction.

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we have several treatment programs for stimulant addiction, including detox and residential rehabilitation programs.

What your treatment may involve:

Get Help For Drug Addiction Today

Bedrock Recovery Center is an accredited treatment center in Canton, Massachusetts that offers evidence-based care for drug and alcohol addiction.

If you or a loved one are addicted to yaba, call our helpline today to see if one of our drug addiction treatment programs at Bedrock is right for you.

  1. BBC News — Yaba: The cheap synthetic drug convulsing a nation https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-48041414
  2. U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) — Yaba Fast Facts https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs5/5048/index.htm
  3. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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