All provincial administrations have been ordered to submit a list of suspected drug dealers and addicts in their respective provinces to the Ministry of Interior by the end of this month. The information will be added to its main database, for use in developing effective measures to deal with all aspects of the drug problem.
Interior Permanent Secretary Suttipong Juljarern said yesterday (Wednesday) that all provincial administrations have also been instructed to provide updates about the drug situation on weekly basis and to hold discussions periodically with people’s networks on rehabilitation programs for drug addicts and on the prevention of drug abuse.
To begin with, he said that all provincial administrations must conduct random tests of their staff, to find out how many are addicted so that they can be sent for rehabilitation.
Ideally, Suttipong said, there should be one drug rehabilitation facility in each district or sub-district, so addicts can be rehabilitated and kept under watch, adding that a campaign must be launched nationwide to educate the public on the dangers of narcotics and to seek their help by informing on illegal drug trading activities or addiction in their neighbourhoods.
He stressed the important role of communities in addressing drug addiction and in offering moral support to addicts, so they can quit their habit.
The government’s get-tough policy on drug dealing and addiction follows the mass shooting at a child care center in the north-eastern province of Nong Bua Lamphu on October 6th, by a former police officer who had a record of drug abuse since adolescence. 38 people, mostly young children, died in the incident, including the perpetrator, his wife and their son.
The tragedy prompted public demands for the government to get tough on guns and illegal drugs.