The National Authority for Combating Drugs and Thailand’s General Department of Health are discussing the construction of a drug rehabilitation centre in Preah Sihanouk province.
NACD secretary-general General Meas Vyrith said yesterday that the centre was agreed to last year and is being discussed during a workshop that ends today in Siem Reap province.
“Our meeting with the Thai officials is to discuss the implementation of the agreement that we signed last year with the Thai government for their help in the construction of the centre,” he said. “Also on the agenda is cooperation to help drug addicts kick the habit.”
The new centre will also be used to reduce the load of treating addicts from smaller centres nationwide, he said.
The new centre, occupying a 20-hectare plot of land, will be able to treat up to 2,000 addicts. The government will use $4 million raised from seized equipment and property from drug crimes, including land, houses and vehicles to fund the construction.
Thailand has promised to provide $1.1 million, and the remainder will be given by Vietnam and other countries.
“We plan to complete building the centre by this year,” Gen Vyrith said. “However, getting the funds from foreign government takes time, so it will be constructed in phases.”
“Thai doctors will be sent to train our officers and those from the Department of Social Affairs to rehabilitate the addicts,” he added.
Dr Paskorn Chaivanichsiri, the deputy director-general of Thailand’s Department of Medical Services, noted that the participation of both countries is needed to rehabilitate addicts.
Gen Vyrith said there were 13,748 drug addicts in the country and 11,440 of them have been reintegrated into society or are receiving treatment at public health and rehabilitation centres.
The remaining 2,308, have not received any form of treatment yet.