Thank You to Our Visitors from the Thanyarak Institute

Articles, Education, International

Earlier in the month, we had an opportunity to host a large group of visitors from the Ministry of Public Health, the Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment (PMNIDAT or the Thanyarak Institute) and the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

The Thanyarak Institute is Thailand’s first and largest treatment center with seven branches located throughout the country. It is under the supervision of the Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health.

With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) becoming an important component in addiction treatment at the national level, our visitors were able to experience both of our world class facilities and learned more about how CBT can be professionally integrated into a treatment program.

This was only the first visit with more cooperation planned between DARA and the Thanyarak Institute.

In addition to staffs from the Thanyarak Institute, our VIP visitors also include:

Dr. Isara Chaiwiriyabunya, M.D., Director, Udon Thani Cancer Hospital, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health
Mrs. Suparp Chaiyanit, Senior Officer, Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health
Mrs.Anchalee Sirisabphya, Director of Drug Demand Reduction Bureau, Office of Narcotics Control Board
Ms.Naruemon Kamonwatin, Plan and Policy Analyst, Senior Professional Level, Office of Narcotics Control Board
Ms.Tanittha Poonsin, Plan and Policy Analyst, Practitioner Level, Office of Narcotics Control Board
Ms.Chutima Thitipongkornpuchara, Law Enforcement Office, Professional Level, Office of Narcotics Control Board
Dr. Prapapun Chuchareon, Director, Mahidol University’s ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Addiction Studies Program
Ms. Narumon Arayaphiphat, Deputy Director, Thanyarak Kohnkaen Hospital

ASEAN Conference 2014

Education, International

DARA_ASEAN_Conference_2014_02Earlier in the month we had an opportunity to join the ASEAN Conference 2014: Addiction Treatment: Future Challenges and Opportunities.

The ASEAN Conference 2014: Addiction treatment: Future challenges and opportunities was held by the Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment (PMNIDAT), Department of Medical Services, on June 11-13, 2014. Participants included representatives from all ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries which comprise of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

This is the second time that representatives and policy makers from ASEAN officially joined together to share experiences and exchange knowledge in addiction treatment and rehabilitation, with the key topic being “Best Practices in Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation”.

Another important objective of the conference was to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with each country pledging to:

DARA_ASEAN_Conference_2014_051. Improve the academic cooperation in developing addiction treatment and rehabilitation system among ASEAN countries.
2. Share best practices and information, as well as establish a network on addiction treatment and rehabilitation to further enhance existing clinical guidelines.
3. Share in human resource development and education which include training programs, study visits, and exchange programs.
4. Develop and enhance standard drug treatment and rehabilitation services including accreditation and certification of staff and facilities.

As Asia’s premier drug and alcohol treatment center, DARA Thailand was invited by Mahidol University’s ASEAN Institute for Health Development to join the conference.

Additionally, Martin Peters, DARA Thailand’s Treatment Program Director, was also invited to facilitate and lead group discussions by ASEAN representatives on research cooperation, best practices, clinical practice guidelines, human resource development, certification of addiction professionals, and standards for addiction treatment and rehabilitation.

Teenage Drug Use: No sign of Abatement

Articles, Education, International

Teenage Drug Use No sign of AbatementAccording to statistics, the US leads the world in illegal drug use, but the problem is pervasive throughout the globe. In the Punjab region of India, for example, drug use has ramped up among young people in the last decade, and the number of students graduating from post-secondary schools has diminished. A report published in 2011 showed that teenage drug use is endemic, with 1 ½  to 2 million young people caught in the cycle of addiction. Iran is experiencing an expansion of heroin use, with over 7o% of its addicts (estimated at between 2 million and 5 million) aged 18 to 25. In Russia, heroin kills 80 people every day, and most of its 2 ½ million addicts are between the ages of 18 and 39. Cheap heroin from neighboring Afghanistan has flooded the country since the early 90s.

Treatment is available in various forms throughout the world. Alcoholics Anonymous was established in Russia in the late 80’s, but it’s effect on drug use there is questionable, and treatment for drug addiction is hard to find. The Akal Academy of India represents an attempt to deal with the problem there and has shown success.

In the US, teenage drug use has shifted its trajectory. What once started with alcohol and marijuana experimentation and then might have taken years to progress into addiction now accelerates quickly to dependency via the abuse of pain medications. The era of cocaine as a party drug to augment drinking is over, and the use of pills such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Dilaudid is now prevalent among teens. Also popular is abuse of tranquilizers like Xanax. The arc to dependency is rapid, and the move to snorting or smoking heroin, which is less expensive, is a logical next step in the progression.

Worldwide, the problems attendant to teenage drug use are similarly tragic: overdoses, neglected health, HIV and hepatitis, criminal activity, incarceration, interrupted education, loss of productivity, and alienation from loved ones are consequences that know no boundaries.