Phuket Provincial Office Chief Administration Officer (Palad) Anupong Wawongmoothe presided over the closing ceremony of the 12-day, 11-night program conducted at the Phuket Behavioral Change Center in Pa Khlok, Thalang, Phuket on Saturday (Jan 19).
Having drug users willingly undertake a treatment program is a core aspect of the government's national strategy to overcome drugs, Mr Anupong said.
The 12-day program comprised two main components, Mr Anupong explained.
The first nine days saw the inductees receiving expert advice from a “specialist” on how to keep clear of drugs and the psychological triggers that spur users into the perceived need to take drugs, he said.
“It is important to let them know how to deal with depression and stress while refusing to take drugs, and for them to set goals in life so they return to society peacefully and live good-quality lives,” he said.
The final three days and two nights of the program saw the inductees practice interacting with people in normal social situations in real life.
“The specialist also guided them in terms of taking up additional study in order to broaden their job opportunities. The rehab program also included physical exercise sessions to rebuild the strength of the body and to develop discipline, as well as meditation training,” Mr Anupong added.
The Phuket Provincial Narcotics Control Management Center (Phuket PNCMC) and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office will keep a register of all “volunteers” who successfully complete the 12-day program, Mr Anupong noted.
“Then we will send the list to the three district treatment centers to provide follow-up support,” he added.
Of the 110 who completed the course on Saturday, 49 will be registered with the government drug-treatment centre at the Muang District Office, 32 will be registered with the drug-treatment centre at the Thalang District Office; and 29 will be registered at the Kathu District Office.
“They have to report themselves within 10 days in order to receive follow-up support from the district offices, starting on Jan 29,” Mr Anupong said.
‘‘I wish all of the people who passed the program to be able to continue their lives without using drugs,” Mr Anupong said.
“And they can give advice to those who are still using drugs or thinking about taking drugs, so those people can know the dangers of using drugs and help to reduce the spread of drug-use across Phuket,’’ he added.
Of note, Mr Anupong made no mention how many of the people who undertook the government rehab were either already inmates incarcerated on drug charges or those who voluntarily entered the program in order to avoid jail time for minor drug-possession charges.