10.00 am on June 15th – at the Phuket City Hall’s POC meeting room, Pornchai Patanaruk – Chief of Conservation Strategies, acting as the chairman, held a meeting with Phuket Drug Addiction Situation Evaluation, Data Analysis Team, representatives from local government office in Phuket, and other people involved.
Chaiporn said that regarding the last meeting about drugs from overseas, during the period of January – April 2011, after a 3-month intensive drug prevention initiative, nothing had changed. There is still a large amount of methamphetamine pills (known locally as ya ba, which translates to “crazy medicine”), heroin, and Ya-Ice, being produced in Myanmar and supplying 80% of the Thai market. The drugs are produced by the United Wa State Army (UWSA). The problem has spread to 14 schools which are now in a crisis situation. The team has been working closely with truant patrols, police and public authorities to set up a D-Day to have urine-tests in schools without prior notice of the schools or students.
The information/statistics for the rehabilitation of drug addicts in a voluntary system shows that for treatment from October 2010 – April 2011, 119 samples have been taken from an age group of 21-25 years olds. Methamphetamine is the primary drug being used, slightly higher than heroin. During April-May 2011 10 school children attended the drug addicts in treatment project from a total of 1,100 people.
After meeting with Phuket International Airport Authority, it was found that the majority of thieves who operate at the airport are drug addicts. Therefore, there must have proactive activities which cooperate with Thalang Police, the subdistrict headman, and village headman to achieve a proactive policy to prevent the importation of drugs, which are mainly brought into the country by air.