I was talking about the drug war in Thailand in my last column a few weeks ago. It was mostly about what was going on during the period of time when the Thai government was trying to get rid of drugs. They did pretty well. Since then, drugs became quite hard to find, which made the government seem quite successful. But they probably forgot to think about the consequences of their action.
First I want to talk about how I helped Tai to stay away from drugs. Since the day I found out about Tai and her drug problem, I have tried to do my best to help her. I know very well that quitting drugs is a real tough thing as I have been there myself. The hardest thing she is going to find is to stop herself thinking about drugs.
It isn’t easy to stop drug addicts going back on drugs again. I have to admit that when I was trying to quit, I couldn’t really stay clean for long. Even though I had support from my best friend back then, I still did go back on drugs again and again so many times. My friend couldn’t really stop me, as I would always find a way. Drug addicts cannot quit if they don’t want to quit.
I kind of figured that the same thing was going to happen with Tai. So I prepared myself to handle this kind of problem right at the start. I kept reminding myself not to be angry with her. I had to show her that I am a person that won’t give up on her and I will trust her till the end whatever happens. That is the kind of person that a drug addict needs.
I had to keep Tai’s mind away from drugs so I decided to take her out to the mall and buy her some computer games that she liked. I knew that it wasn’t going to work forever and that she would start to think about drugs again after all the excitement of a new game had gone. But that was fine because the idea of buying the games was to keep her at home as much as I could.
While she was having fun playing with her new toys, I spent the time going out to do some research. I went over to see some of my friends to talk about the drug situation in our hometown, Paknam. I was really shocked after I found out about what it’s like nowadays.
After the government’s war on drug was finally over, the Prime Minister kind of thought that the project was successful. They had made it more difficult to find drugs. A lot of people had finally decided to quit. If someone came over and asked me, was this project successful? My answer would be; yes, but only for a while.
A few months later, the drugs were being sold again. The ex-drugs addicts came back to taking drugs again even though the price had gone up five times higher. There were also some new people like Tai. Because of the high price of drugs, there started to be more serious stuff going on around the country. We started to see on the front page of newspapers more violent robberies, murders and gang fighting.
In my own opinion, I now kind of disagree with the method the government used. I think they really should have been focusing more on stopping people taking drugs in the first place. They could easily do that by educating youngsters through the media and in every school about how bad drugs are. They have done this kind of thing in the past but the method wasn’t always successful. Maybe they should ask people like myself to talk to students about the horrors of drug addiction. As we are the same age they will believe us more.
Now I have a confession to make. People have been writing to me a lot to find out what has been happening to me the last few months. They wanted to know why I wasn’t always writing my column. I will tell you next week.