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1.  Compulsory drug detention center experiences among a community-based sample of injection drug users in Bangkok, Thailand 
Background
Despite Thailand's official reclassification of drug users as "patients" deserving care and not "criminals," the Thai government has continued to rely heavily on punitive responses to drug use such as "boot camp"-style compulsory "treatment" centers. There is very little research on experiences with compulsory treatment centers among people who use drugs. The work reported here is a first step toward filling that gap.
Methods
We examined experiences of compulsory drug treatment among 252 Thai people who inject drugs (IDU) participating in the Mitsampan Community Research Project in Bangkok. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors independently associated with a history of compulsory treatment experience.
Results
In total, 80 (31.7%) participants reported a history of compulsory treatment. In multivariate analyses, compulsory drug detention experience was positively associated with current spending on drugs per day (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.86; 95%CI: 1.07 - 3.22) and reporting drug planting by police (AOR = 1.81; 95%CI: 1.04 - 3.15). Among those with compulsory treatment experience, 77 (96.3%) reported injecting in the past week, and no difference in intensity of drug use was observed between those with and without a history of compulsory detention.
Conclusion
These findings raise concerns about the current approach to compulsory drug detention in Thailand. Exposure to compulsory drug detention was associated with police abuse and high rates of relapse into drug use, although additional research is needed to determine the precise impact of exposure to this form of detention on future drug use. More broadly, compulsory "treatment" based on a penal approach is not consistent with scientific evidence on addressing drug addiction and should be phased out in favor of evidence-based interventions.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-11-12
PMCID: PMC3217860  PMID: 22014093
Compulsory treatment; Thailand; injection drug use
2.  Reports of evidence planting by police among a community-based sample of injection drug users in Bangkok, Thailand 
Background
Drug policy in Thailand has relied heavily on law enforcement-based approaches. Qualitative reports indicate that police in Thailand have resorted to planting drugs on suspected drug users to extort money or provide grounds for arrest. The present study sought to describe the prevalence and factors associated with this form of evidence planting by police among injection drug users (IDU) in Bangkok.
Methods
Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with evidence planting of drugs by police among a community-based sample of IDU in Bangkok. We also examined the prevalence and average amount of money paid by IDU to police in order to avoid arrest.
Results
252 IDU were recruited between July and August, 2008, among whom 66 (26.2%) were female and the median age was 36.5 years. In total, 122 (48.4%) participants reported having drugs planted on them by police. In multivariate analyses, this form of evidence planting was positively associated with midazolam use (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 2.84; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.58 - 5.11), recent non-fatal overdose (AOR = 2.56; 95%CI: 1.40 - 4.66), syringe lending (AOR = 2.08; 95%CI: 1.19 - 3.66), and forced drug treatment (AOR = 1.88; 95%CI: 1.05 - 3.36). Among those who reported having drugs planted on them, 59 (48.3%) paid police a bribe in order to avoid arrest.
Conclusion
A high proportion of community-recruited IDU participating in this study reported having drugs planted on them by police. Drug planting was found to be associated with numerous risk factors including syringe sharing and participation in government-run drug treatment programs. Immediate action should be taken to address this form of abuse of power reportedly used by police.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-9-24
PMCID: PMC2770985  PMID: 19811653

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