27 youths test positive for meth at Phuket drug checkpoint
PHUKET: Police and district officials rounded up 27 suspected drug users on Tuesday night at a random checkpoint set up on Soi Nakok in Chalong subdistrict, Phuket.
Soi Nakok, adjacent to the TOT compound on Chao Fa West Road, is home to the housing estate where drugged-up burglar Kittikhun Wonghajak strangled 17-year-old Sunisa “Nong Som” Saiyoy on July 10.
Suwat Buppapo, chief of the Muang District Security Unit, said that the aim of the checkpoint was to stop and identify drug users “so that they may be given the opportunity to attend a future drug rehabilitation camp”.
Official checked urine samples provided by 160 people stopped at the checkpoint. Of the samples taken, 27 turned tell-tale purple, indicating a preliminary positive result for methamphetamines.
Most of those testing positive were teenagers.
Chief Suwat said he wished to make the Nakok area “a drug-free zone”.
“I have received many reports indicating this area has many drug abuse problems. I want to reduce the number of drug users here to zero.”
“This ‘stop-and-check’ operation is part of a national anti-drug campaign,” he added.
As at similar checkpoints that have been set up around the island as part of the initiative, those testing positive for traces of illegal substances are given a choice: attend the drug rehabilitation program or face charges and possible imprisonment.
Drug rehabilitation programs are being run by all Phuket subdistricts and municipalities. A camp run by Koh Kaew subdistrict in May was attended by 67 of the 80 drug users caught at a checkpoint on Thepkrasattri Road.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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