The predominance of yaba, the common street name for methamphetamine, is attributed to its ease in production and widespread distribution in Thailand. “The number of Thais addicted will reach 1.1 million this year”, the head of Thailand’s anti-drug police reports. The number with substance use disorder has increased by about 100,000 annually over the last 5 years.
The country’s drug culture has evolved from marijuana, heroin, and then meth. For decades, heroin was the most profitable illicit drug usually being sold in the streets and nightclubs. But during the 80’s, meth started to gain popularity with the name yama. Yama, known as horse drug, became popular among laborers and truck drivers to make them awake at night. The Thai government banned the production and sale of yama, thus these illegal drug manufacturers started producing a new kind of meth preparation which is a blend of meth and caffeine in tablet form. Yaba, known as madness drug became widespread among Thai students and partygoers. Yaba is still a big problem for the country’s anti-drug enforcement up to now. Yaba is still rampant in the streets of Bangkok and Pattaya, among all places.
Thailand’s Astringent Measures against Illegal Drugs
In 2003, Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s Prime Minister, implemented a crackdown on yaba and other illicit drugs. Around 2,500 people who are allegedly drug users and dealers were killed without trial.
Soon after, rules against drug use, possession and distribution were amended to impose severe penalties to violators. Bars and nightclubs are occasionally raided by Thai police in search for drug users. Even foreigners are not exempted as they could be randomly checked through urine tests. Everyone who would be found positive would be immediately arrested and charged. Serious drug offenders usually get death penalty. For people serving long sentences, they could be fined and sent to Bang Kwang or Klong Prem Prison.
Popularity of Drug Rehab Centers in Thailand
Most addicts would rather prefer entering a drug rehab center in Thailand before they could be caught by the police. However, those who can afford can go into treatment. There are numerous luxurious inpatient addiction treatment centers in Thailand but they primarily cater to foreign clients because of their expensive cost of care.
Because most Thais, as well as other Asians, could not get access to quality treatment, they look for best alternatives in getting top-class inpatient treatment without being too heavy on their budget. One of the addiction treatment recovery centers they go to is KAYA.
Drug Addiction Recovery
KAYA Recovery Center for Addiction utilizes Unified Treatment Model, a personalized and rationalized use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Facilitation of Twelve Steps, and Schema Therapy. KAYA Treatment Programs are evidence based and shown to be effective in treatment of problems in alcohol, drug, and process addiction.