Bangkok launches major drug prevention initiative with urine tests

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

Bangkok is set to launch a significant drug prevention and control initiative tomorrow, July 12, with the capitol’s governor, Chadchart Sittipunt, directing district offices to coordinate with local police stations for urine testing in 88 communities identified as high-risk for drug abuse, aiming to bring users into treatment programs.

During an online Zoom meeting at the Bangkok City Hall, Chadchart chaired the Committee of the Bangkok Narcotics Control and Suppression Centre (BNCSSC).

The meeting included key officials such as the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Bangkok, Chatri Watthanakhachon, representatives from the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Health Department, district offices, and other related parties.

The 58 year old Bangkok chief emphasised the urgency for relevant agencies to conduct urine testing in community areas. This directive aligns with the prime minister’s orders during the mobile Cabinet meeting in Nakhon Ratchasima.

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The initiative will see district offices collaborate with local police stations, the Bangkok Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), and public health service centres to perform urine tests and identify drug users for entry into treatment programs. The operation will commence from tomorrow onwards.

The project will involve urine testing for individuals aged 12 to 65 years living in communities participating in the Sustainable Strong Community project, covering 88 communities. Furthermore, urine testing will also be conducted in the Community Based Treatment (CBTx) project, which includes 285 communities in total.

Individuals deemed at risk of drug use, those previously uncooperative in treatment, those who have relapsed after psychiatric treatment for drug abuse, or those under probation or recently released from prison or juvenile detention, will be targeted for testing.

The initiative also includes providing social rehabilitation through the CBTx process or referrals to medical facilities. The agencies involved are required to report the number of individuals tested and the number of patients admitted to treatment by July 31 on the Office of Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment’s website.

Additionally, urine testing will be conducted for at-risk students in 73 schools within monitored community areas, with schools also required to report their findings on the same website, reported KhaoSod.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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