The incident occurred on Monday at a temple in Phetchabun province’s Bung Sam Phan district where four monks and an abbot were subjected to a drug test and each one tested positive for methamphetamine.
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Updated: 30 Nov 2022 12:07 pm
The high incidence of drug use and addiction in Thailand is not new. But a recent discovery at a Thai temple has left authorities concerned after every single one ot the monks living in it failed to clear as narco test.
The incident occurred on Monday at a temple in Phetchabun province's Bung Sam Phan district where four monks and an abbot were subjected to a drug test and each one tested positive for methamphetamine.
The monks were immediately defrocked and taken to a local dedication amd health centre for receiving rehabilitation therapy. New monks will soon be sent to the temple, which has now been left devoid of any monks, local district official Boonlert Thintapthai informed the villagers, as per a report in NDTV.
Thailand's drug problem became a debated issue in the country just a month ago following the disturbing nursery killings which led to tho Thai authorities amping up the so-called war on drugs and brought forth stringent gun regulations. The killing at a daycare centre had left 36 dead including 24 children.
Thailand's infamous Golden Triangle—a tri-junction at the Myanmar, Laos and Thailand borders – is a hub for drug trafficking and inter-border smuggling. and methamphetamine pills, or Yaba as they are called in the country, are easily easily available street and party drugs, sold at prices as low as 20 Baht (Rs 46) per piece.
In 2021, a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report noted that over one billion methamphetamine tablets were seized in East and Southeast Asia last as the regional drug trade continued to expand. The report “Synthetic Drugs in East and Southeast Asia: latest developments and challenges 2022” confirms that extreme volumes of methamphetamine are being produced, trafficked, and used in the region and that the synthetic drug trade continues to diversify
Nevertheless, Thailand is also one of the most sought-after locations for tourists and affluent westerners seeking deaddiction and rehabilitation therapies. Many monasteries in the nation, such as Thamkrabok, a Buddhist monastery located 140 kilometers from Bangkok, specializes in treating drug addiction.
Earlier in the year, Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalise the use of marijuana. The country's health authorities have excluded cannabis from a list of narcotics, giving people a way to cultivate and use the herb at home. However, cannabis can only be grown and consumed for medical purposes, and those who smoke it in public face heavy penalties.
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