In response to the prime minister ordering a sweeping anti-narcotics effort by all agencies, the interior ministry and the police force have declared a war on drugs. The two organizations have set a target for a list of drug users and sellers nationwide to be produced by October’s end. The information will be used to facilitate narcotics suppression and rehabilitation of users.
The interior ministry and the national police held a joint meeting to discuss solving the narcotics problem. Interior Ministry Permanent Secretary Sutthipong Juljarern and Royal Thai Police Commissioner Damrongsak Kittipraphat chaired the meeting. Representatives from the Narcotics Control Board, the Ministry of Public Health, and other public agencies were also in attendance. Talks at the meeting involved the prevention, suppression, and rehabilitation aspects of the fight against narcotics.
The interior ministry permanent secretary said an October 31 deadline has been set for preliminary information on drug users and sellers to be produced. The information will be used among partner agencies, including the police and the military, to tackle the narcotics problem. The relevant agencies will exchange information with one another and also screen information at the local level. Provincial governors and district chiefs will take charge of searches for individuals involved with narcotics. These searches will cover all subdistricts and villages nationwide.
According to Mr. Sutthipong, a drug user will have to spend at least one week inside a rehabilitation center. The suppression effort will be conducted alongside the rehabilitation effort, with information on even one pill of an illicit drug to be considered. Local administrative organizations will also be asked to provide material support in the form of equipment to screen for drugs.
The permanent secretary said narcotics is a national agenda that necessitated a declaration of a “war on drugs”. All public sector employees are now subject to random screening for drugs.
Meanwhile, the national police chief said a large number of drug users have not been entered into rehab. A number of these individuals have gone on to develop mental conditions and have attacked people. He added chiefs of police stations nationwide will be making frequent community visits to nurture relations with locals and foster public confidence in the police. (NNT)