Community-based anti-drug plan rehashed

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Pattaya officials and community leaders from 38 local communities re-visited a community-based anti-drug plan first started in Pattaya a year ago.

The Office of Narcotics Prevention and Suppression’s Sen. Sgt. Maj. Wittaya Chansiri led the Feb. 9 session that discussed the establishment and operation of community projects to provide activities, education and training for drug users.

Senior Sgt. Maj. Wittaya Chansiri. Senior Sgt. Maj. Wittaya Chansiri.

The program called on chiefs of 38 villages to establish committees to keep better tabs on abusers, dealers and sources of drugs and report offenses to police. He said it also emphasizes the importance of access to assistance, care and prevention. In cases of addiction, the drug user would be interrogated on the source of narcotics and given a “second chance” through rehabilitation.

In the case where a user is also a minor dealer, the addict would be used to catch larger dealers.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said that the program has helped, but there is much more to be done.  “Over the past year, it has been found that drugs have been reduced considerably, but to completely eradicate drugs, Pattaya City needs to keep presenting more information on the issue to the communities.”

Wittaya said, “For the program to be a success, we need cooperation from all sectors including suppression, prevention, and particularly, rehabilitation for addicts who should be considered as patients by the medical industry.  These patients need encouragement and support from families and communities to help them permanently stop their addictive behavior.”

After the meeting, plans were made to visit the Rattananurak rehabilitation center in Lampang Feb. 20-22.