V/Gov Supoj held a meeting to address the issue with Phuket Provincial Narcotics Control Management Center officials yesterday (Jan 30) at Phuket Provincial Hall.
He explained that “The drug problem in Phuket is very much an epidemic.”
“The main drugs being used are kratom, methamphetamine (ya bah), crystal meth (ya ice) and cannabis,” he noted.
In November, V/Gov Supoj highlighted that on average 23 people were arrested for drug-related offences every day throughout 2018, which led to a new strategy that was implemented with the aim of “solving the problem within three months,” according to Maj Gen Nantadech Yoinuan, Deputy Commander of Region 8 Police. (See story here.)
The latest figures show that between November 2018 and Jan 24, 2019 there were 1,827 drug-related arrests following the implementation of the new strategy, making it evident that the strategy has failed.
Items seized during that period included 500,000 ya bah pills, 7.76 kilograms of ya ice, 4.32 kilograms of cannabis and 1,500 kilograms of kratom.
At yesterday’s meeting, V/Gov Supoj spoke of fresh new measures in place to suppress the island’s drug problem.
“We have organised educational activities for more than 36,000 children and youth in 165 educational institutions,” V/Gov Supoj explained.
“We have also begun community based activities to encourage participation in the effort to resolve drug problems in three key communities,” he added.
Treatment is also being encouraged and in some cases forced. So far 214 people have volunteered to participate in treatment whilst 58 convicted drug users have been forced to attend rehabilitation facilities.