8 tonnes of narcotics incinerated

Eight tonnes of narcotics were incinerated in Ayutthaya province on Thursday, International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, as authorities raised concern about rising substance use in Thailand.

Officials prepare narcotics before incineration in Ayutthaya on Thursday. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

The incineration took place at the Bang Pa-in Industrial Estate. About five tonnes of the narcotics was marijuana while the remainder was made up of a variety of illicit drugs. The market price of the destroyed illegal drugs was estimated at 8.87 billion baht.

It included 27 million methamphetamine pills weighing about 2.5 tonnes, 243 kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice", 21 kilogrammes of heroin, 9,000 ecstasy pills weighing two kilogrammes, and 74 kilogrammes of opium. 

Officials burnt the drugs at 850 degrees Celsius to prevent pollution.

Dr Narong Sahametapat, permanent secretary for health, said drug abuse in Thailand was raising concern as about 1.2 million people abused drugs and as much as 15% of drug addicts used more than one kind of narcotic. 

He said the proportion of people with a severe addiction rose from 2% to 3% of drug abusers and this was making rehabilitation more complicated and difficult.

The Ministry of Public Health planned to rehabilitate at least 300,000 drug addicts this year, Dr Narong said.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that 243 million people worldwide abused drugs and they formed 5% of the global population aged 15-64. There are about 27 million problematic drug addicts, forming 0.6% of the global adult population, or one in 200 people. 

Only one-sixth of drug abusers have access to rehabilitation and about 200,000 people died of causes relating to drug abuse in 2012.

Related search: drugs, ice, meth, methamphetamine, marijuana,

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