Friday, January 25, 2008

40,000 young Thais victims of additive inhalant


BANGKOK, JAN 25 (TNA)--At least 40,000 young Thais, mostly from poor families, are addicted to breathing inhalants, with the use of inhalants ranking third among addictive drugs in Thailand, an anti-narcotics official said Friday.
Deputy Director General of the Narcotics Control and Suppression Board, Pitaya Jinawat, said young people are easily lured to inhalant use due to its cheap price and the authorities' ignorance to crack down on illegal inhalant trading and consumption has resulted in the widespread distribution of the substance.
He called on traders to help control the distribution of inhalants to young people. At the same time he appealed to the private sector not to reject employing inhalant addicts who are rehabilitated.
Mr. Pitaya said police usually ignored arresting inhalant addicts to avoid the burden of having to send them for rehabilitation while some rehabilitation centres or hospitals would not admit the young people for treatment.
However, a law amending the Inhalant Prevention Act which will be in force in July this year will impose harsher punishment against those selling the substances to young people and allow addict to undergo medical treatment before an indictment, he said.
The law also raises the age of young people allowed to buy inhalants from 17 to 18 years of age, Mr. Pitaya said, admitting that young addicts can easily ask their older peers to buy inhalant for them. (TNA)