The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Sermsak Pongpanit, chaired the opening of a workshop on drug prevention and suppression in schools in Thailand for 2013 on 3 May 2013 in Khon Kaen. He also monitored the progress of the work being carried out in Thailand.
Mr. Sermsak said that the government had declared that drug problems were on the national agenda and asked the Ministry of Education to solve the problems according to the third plan which relates to the protection of Thai students and youths from drugs by allowing them to learn and understand how bad illicit drugs are. Instead of using drugs, Thai youths should spend their free time doing good things and those addicted to drugs should receive proper rehabilitation. In addition to the Ministry of Education working closely with schools and school administrators, teachers will have to take good care of their students. Within a week after the semester starts, schools should report their progress on drug suppression to the Ministry. The first group of drug addicted students will be rehabilitated on 10 June 2013.
Mr. Sermsak also added that solving drug problems sustainably and actively required the cooperation for everyone because there were two major reasons that students got involved with illicit drugs. The first one comes from internal factors at individual schools including a lack of active measures to deal with drug problems and dealers in schools and a lack of good systems to monitor students prone to drug addiction. The second reason stems from external factors, such as there being too many entertainment venues surrounding schools where students are allowed to hang out as well as a lack of preventive and suppressive measures on use of drugs among Thai youths. In these cases, police officers and the relevant authorities need to work with schools under the D.A.R.E. project where police teachers educate and rehabilitate young drug addicts. Besides this, schools are encouraged to participate in the “To Be Number One”project. This work is carried out at policy and operative levels with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, the Public Health Ministry, the Royal Thai Police Office and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).