Vice Governor Snith revealed his concern at a meeting with other officials involved in the official campaign against drugs at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Aug 14).
Officials at the meeting were told that Phuket is on ‘high alert’ with respect to drugs in all three districts on the island.
“In the Kathu area, there is a drug epidemic in Patong. The number of drug users in Patong is not decreasing, and the tourists who are drug users is increasing,” V/Gov Snith said.
"In Thalang District, there is widespread drug use in 11 villages. Drug dealers tend to deliver drugs to rental rooms in this area. The main users drivers, hotel workers, labours and migrants,” he added.
“In Phuket Town, drugs are sold over the phone. The seller will drop the drugs off at an appointed location, then the buyer will come to pick the drugs up, and the two never meet each other,” he explained
Drugs brought into Phuket by post and other parcel delivery services also remained a concern, he said, adding that “70% of these are delivered by private company.”
Commenting on the drug-use situation throughout Phuket, V/Gov Snith noted, “Overall, the number of drug users in Phuket is not increasing, but we must remain vigilant on this issue.
“Kratom is the most widely used, followed by amphetamine, marijuana and heroin respectively,” he said.
Also, he noted that drug manufacturers were starting to produce methamphetamine pills (ya bah) in blue, as opposed to the long-standing orange-coloured pills.
“I will request that the Thailand Post officers in Phuket inspect parcels delivered by post more thoroughly,” V/Gov Snith said.
“Also officials need to watch out for the increasing use of heroin in Phuket,” he added.
V/Gov Snith just last month announced that Phuket was already on high alert against the spread of heroin following a spate of heroin-related arrests in news that made national headlines. (See story here.)
That warning followed V/Gov Snith voicing his concern over the growing incidence of kratom in local drug arrests and called for local officials and law enforcement to step up their efforts against illegal use of the indigenous plant. (See story here.)