The construction of a Thai-funded drugs rehabilitation centre in Champasak, southern Laos, will be completed by the end of next month, according to Linthong Phetsavan, of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mr Linthong, who oversees the Lao National Commission for Drugs Control and Supervision, said when its construction is completed, the centre would provide drug rehabilitation to Lao addicts from Champasak, Savannakhet, Salavan and Pakse in southern Laos.
The centre, which is being constructed on a 30-rai plot at Ban Nam Om, would have the capacity to treat around 100 in-patients a day.
He said more than 90% of the construction work was already completed.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 8th Lao-Thai meeting on anti-narcotics cooperation yesterday, he said drug addiction, especially the addiction to amphetamines, was widespread in schools in the big cities of Laos and his government was conducting a survey about the actual number of students hooked on drugs.
“I have to thank the Thai government for the construction of this rehabilitation centre because it was badly needed,” he said.
The Thai government approved a budget of 24.5 million baht two years ago for the centre’s construction after the Lao government asked for financial assistance in return for bilateral cooperation on drugs suppression and prevention. The centre’s construction started in March last year.
Dr Boonruang Triruangworawat, director of the Thanyarak Institute in Pathum Thani, who will oversee the centre’s rehabilitation programme, said his institute had already provided training to 24 members of the medical staff, including physicians and nurses, who would be running the centre.
He said the Lao centre’s medical services would be assessed every year to make sure they remained on par with international standards. “We will not abandon them. Our institute will continue to support them through training courses and financially,” said the director.