Phuket Governor opens new drug centre

15 Aug 2011

The governor of Phuket took the first drugs test at the opening ceremonies for the island’s new substance abuse testing facility. The opening rites for the Regional Medical Sciences Centre at Thalang took place on Friday morning.

Dr Kamon Foihirun, director of the new drug testing centre, said that tests performed here would check whether people had taken marijuana, amphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine or hallucogenic substances. He added that the tests were 90 per cent accurate and would quickly indicate instances of drug abuse.

Officials at the centre took a urine sample from governor Tri Augkaradacha on Friday to inaugurate the centre. The urine was then screened for narcotics and after a few minutes was declared drug free. Ceremony participants applauded the governor.

The governor said the new facility on Phuket would help counteract the increasing use of drugs here. He said that at present samples had to be sent across country to the facility at Surat Thani and this was a time-consuming process.

He continued by saying that the increase in both foreign and domestic visitors to the island over the past few decades had contributed to Phuket’s burgeoning drug issues.    

The centre is another sign of Phuket’s determination to stamp out drug abuse. At the island’s international airport, officials have apprehended a number of drug couriers recently.

A 39-year-old woman, Ratchanee Chidnaporn, was arrested at the airport on Saturday when vigilant Customs officers picked up signs of three kilogrammes of methamphetamines in a luggage scan as she was arriving from Doha.

Tags: Phuket drug centre

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