26 drug addicts escape Krabi rehab, 11 recaptured by police

Pictures courtesy of Pattaya News

Royal Thai Police (RTP) reported yesterday that 26 recovering drug addicts escaped from a rehabilitation foundation in Mueang, Krabi. The group allegedly stole a long-tail boat to make their way to Mueang Krabi, with some escapees later seen walking along Hemthanon Road. After nearly an hour, police managed to capture 11 of the escapees.

The police negotiated with the 11 individuals, who initially resisted returning to the foundation. Fifteen patients remain at large.

One escapee explained to the police that they fled because they wanted to go home and refused to return to the foundation, which reportedly houses over 1,000 individuals. The patient cited poor quality of life and food, as well as harsh punishments for mistakes, as reasons for their escape.

The escapee also mentioned that patients were only allowed to spend 20 baht per day from money sent by their families, which is barely enough to buy anything decent to eat.

Police are currently contacting the families of the escapees, as they refuse to return to the rehabilitation foundation.

The foundation, whose full name has been withheld for legal reasons, has not yet formally responded to the alleged complaints.

26 drug addicts escape Krabi rehab, 11 recaptured by police | News by Thaiger
Pictures courtesy of Pattaya News

In related news, Public Health Minister Somsak Thepsutin endorsed initiatives to allocate seized assets from narcotic drug cases towards funding the rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Somsak revealed that during his tenure as the Justice Ministry chair, he had amended several narcotic laws, particularly those concerning asset seizures. He noted that the previous laws were too passive, resulting in only 20 million baht annually being directed to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board’s (ONCB) narcotic drug fund. This amount, he argued, should have been significantly higher.

“We have to change from the defensive approaches to emphasise asset seizure and offer rewards for tip-offs.”

Somsak explained that various sectors are collaborating to ensure the law permits using the ONCB’s narcotic drug fund to aid in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from mental disorders linked to chronic drug use.

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