Government plans to transform military bases into drug rehab centres

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed a strategic initiative to repurpose military facilities as sanctuaries for treating and stabilising drug addicts.

The visionary plan, aimed at curbing the societal fallout from illicit drugs, comes after discussions with Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang and army chief General Charoenchai Hinthao.

The Thai PM made an announcement on social media.

“Drug problems have negative impacts on society, and MPs have relayed concerns from their communities. Military authorities have agreed to allow the use of their premises to provide treatment for drug addicts. They are expected to give details in two weeks.”

The Defence Ministry, in collaboration with the Public Health Ministry, the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), and local administrative organisations, attended a workshop focusing on alleviating the harm caused by drugs. The outcome? A green light for a program to operate rehabilitation centres catering to patients with mental disorders arising from illicit drug use.

Under this groundbreaking proposal, these centres will offer treatment and care for orange-coded patients before guiding them towards drug rehabilitation institutes or mental health hospitals. To ensure the success of this initiative, the Public Health Ministry and ONCB will collaborate with various agencies, contemplating the formulation of guidelines, potential legislation, operation standards, referral systems, staff training, and budget allocation.

In a strategic role, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) will serve as a coordinator, while the army takes charge of establishing rehabilitation facilities in military hospitals. This move will specifically target regions lacking drug rehabilitation or mental health facilities.

The phased implementation of this revolutionary plan begins with four army-run hospitals in Prachin Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, and Kanchanaburi, each designated as rehabilitation centres with 40 beds. Subsequently, the project will expand to encompass five more army-run hospitals in Udon Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, Lampang, and Nakhon Si Thammarat, boasting a total of 50 beds, reported Bangkok Post.

In the ambitious third phase, the initiative will extend to the remaining 27 military hospitals, providing a substantial 110 beds for comprehensive rehabilitation services.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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