BANGKOK, Jan 2 – Thailand’s struggle with rising drug use will continue in 2011 with crystal methamphetamine likely to spread as the authorities plan a closer watch over border areas to prevent drug smuggling during the New Year, according to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).
The ONCB will keep an eye on crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, which seems to be spreading this year as statistics show increased usage of ice during 2010 compared to 2009. Crystal meth is 90 per cent pure additive substance, causing easy addiction and severe impact on drug users, ONCB Deputy Secretary-General Permpong Chaovalit said.
Eighty per cent of illegal drugs came from three provinces–Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son– located near the drug production bases, he said. Thailand’s northern and northeastern borders have been closely monitored, and the ONCB has worked with security agencies to set up checkpoints at border as it believed that in 2011 more drugs will be smuggled into the country there.