Seized drug assets to fund addict rehabilitation in Thailand

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin endorsed initiatives to allocate seized assets from narcotic drug cases towards funding the rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Somsak revealed that during his tenure as the Justice Ministry chair, he had amended several narcotic laws, particularly those concerning asset seizures. He noted that the previous laws were too passive, resulting in only 20 million baht annually being directed to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board’s (ONCB) narcotic drug fund. This amount, he argued, should have been significantly higher.

“We have to change from the defensive approaches to emphasise asset seizure and offer rewards for tip-offs.”

Somsak explained that various sectors are collaborating to ensure the law permits using the ONCB’s narcotic drug fund to aid in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from mental disorders linked to chronic drug use.

This initiative aligns with the recent update of the Public Health Ministerial Policy on Drug Possession Act, published in the Royal Gazette yesterday, which underscores the importance of encouraging drug users to undergo rehabilitation.

Somsak emphasised that anti-drug efforts are a national priority, which includes providing treatment for drug addicts. The ministry has developed Community-based Treatment and Rehabilitation and Harm Reduction Centres (CBTx) facilities across the country.

Approximately 10,000 CBTx facilities have become crucial in helping addicts and drug users access comprehensive treatment.

Those who complete their rehabilitation at CBTx will be transferred to one of the 3,258 Social Status Rehabilitation Centres to prepare them for reintegration into society.

Last year, at least 1.9 million narcotic drug users in Thailand received medical help for their addiction. Among these cases, 38,000 were classified as critical, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news, more than 80 patients escaped from a drug rehabilitation centre on Koh Sriboya, an island in the southern province of Krabi, over alleged abuses by the Thai authorities.

A community leader on Sriboya Island reached out to officers from Khlong Kanan Police Station for assistance, as residents grew concerned about approximately 80 patients who had absconded from a drug rehabilitation centre and congregated at a pier to cross over to the mainland of Krabi.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles