12,000 draftees 'on drugs'
More than 12,000 young men reporting for military conscription this year have tested positive for use of illicit drugs, with Kalasin having the highest number and many more results still to come.
Sirinya Sitdhichai, secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board said the urine test results of 182,910 men reporting for military conscription in 706 districts of 76 provinces have so far been entered into the NCB's database.
Of these, 12,209 men, or 6.7%, tested positive for illicit drug use with 11,139 found to be using methamphetamine and 750 marijuana. The rest were users of other substances. He said 7,174 had already been sent for drug rehabilitation treatment while another 5,035 young men were still waiting for their turn.
The NCB secretary-general said 3,128 of those who tested positive were drafted into the army following the drawing of lots and would receive rehabilitation treatment during service. Meanwhile, those who tested positive but were not drafted into the army would be sent to rehabilitation centres in their respective province for a 13-day programme, he said.
A breakdown by provinces showed Kalasin had the highest number of drug users (678), followed by Narathiwat (609) and Songkhla (592).
The NCB is expected to finish inputting by today the drug test results of all men who reported for conscription between April 1 and 12. All were required to undergo urine tests.