Bangkok launches major drug prevention initiative with urine testing

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

Bangkok is about to launch a major drug addiction prevention and a control initiative tomorrow, July 12, with the governor of the capital, Chadchart Sittipunt, ordering district offices to coordinate with local police stations to urine test in 88 communities identified as high risk drug abuseaimed at bringing users into treatment programs.

In an online Zoom meeting at Bangkok City Hall, Chadchart chaired the Bangkok Narcotics Control and Suppression Center (BNCSSC) committee.

The meeting was attended by key officials such as Bangkok Deputy Permanent Secretary Chatri Watthanakhachon, representatives from the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Office, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Health Department, district offices and other relevant parties.

Bangkok’s 58-year-old police chief stressed the urgency for relevant agencies to conduct urine tests in community areas. The directive is in line with orders given by the prime minister at the mobile cabinet meeting in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The initiative will see district offices working with local police stations, the Bangkok Narcotics Control Bureau (ONCB) and public health service centres to conduct urine tests and identify drug users for admission to treatment programmes. The operation will begin tomorrow.

The project will involve conducting urine tests on people aged 12 to 65 living in communities participating in the Sustainable Strong Community project, which covers 88 communities. In addition, urine tests will also be conducted in the Community Based Treatment (CBTx) project, which includes a total of 285 communities.

Individuals considered at risk for drug use, those who have previously been non-cooperative in treatment, those who have relapsed after psychiatric treatment for drug addiction, or those on probation or recently released from prison or juvenile detention will be targeted for testing.

The initiative also includes the implementation of social rehabilitation through the CBT process or referral to medical institutions. Relevant organizations are required to report the number of people tested and the number of patients admitted to treatment by July 31 on the website of the Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Bureau.

Additionally, urine tests will be conducted on at-risk students in 73 schools located in monitored community areas, with schools also required to report their results on the same website, KhaoSod reported.

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