Govt confident new programme will stamp out illegal drugs in Thailand

Thailand has long been plagued by a history of drug abuse. The kingdom has harsh penalties for those caught possessing, taking, or selling illegal drugs.

The Thaiger writes story after story of Yaba-fuelled chaos, drug busts and the illicit trafficking of narcotics dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of prohibited pharmaceuticals.

The government, however, is optimistic that it can stamp out the illegal use of narcotics after the success of a recent drugs programme in the northeastern Nong Bua Lam Phu province. Plans are afoot to use it as a model for other communities, reported Bangkok Post.

Provincial governor Suwit Chanhuan reported that the “change for good” program that has been piloted in Nong Bua Lam Phu for the past three months, encompasses drug prevention, suppression, and rehabilitation. It draws together partners from all levels of the community, from the provincial to the neighbourhood.

Suwit said…

Under the programme, ratchasi (lion king) boxes with a QR code which community members can use to submit drug complaints or tips have been installed across the province.

Local leaders, law enforcement officers, and health volunteers work in teams to screen drug addicts with mental conditions and respond to drug-related incidents.

The results have been impressive. Over the past three months, the program identified 2,044 drug addicts, 389 dealers, and 320 people suffering from mental illness as a result of drug addiction. The program also screened 3,783 state officers attached to 76 government organizations in the province, finding 43 officials who were addicts and sending them to rehab.

The program classified drug addicts into three groups, and those in the green and yellow groups received treatment and rehabilitation in their communities, while the ones in the red group were treated in hospitals.

The success of the program has been so great that the government plans to promote it in other parts of the country, with a budget of 994 million baht earmarked to train 100,000 people on how to reach out to addicts and send them to rehab.

The government initiated the “Re X-Ray” drug suppression mission as a measure to reduce drug use in the country on October 31 last year. The mission aims to apprehend 120,000 drug addicts and dealers nationwide.

But the proof is in the pudding and whether the government can pull it off nationwide still remains to be seen.

Govt confident new programme will stamp out illegal drugs in Thailand | News by Thaiger

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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