Global Study on Illegal Drugs The Case of Bangkok, Thailand February 2000 Bangkok Research Team1: Nualnoi Treerat Noppanun Wannathepsakul Daniel Ray Lewis This research project was sponsored by the United Nations Drug Control Programme 1 Nualnoi is currently associate professor of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Noppanun is assistant professor of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Daniel is adjunct professor of Economics at Chulalongkorn University. Please contact us at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] 2 Introduction Drug Situation in Thailand Bangkok/Thailand is currently experiencing an amphetamine epidemic. Amphetamine use is widespread. Seizures of amphetamines in the last year are far higher in absolute terms than any other country in the world. The greatest number of users are youths (boys) who use the drugs in groups before engaging in some other activity such as snooker, motorcycle racing, etc. The government has responded and is working hard to suppress drug use, but to little effect. It is even possible that the government’s advertising approach is counterproductive, since in our survey, drug use among youths increased with increased police effort. The production of amphetamines is clearly geared towards children with pills coming in different tastes, smells, and colors. These amphetamine tablets are produced outside the country, mostly in Burma. Bangkok/Thailand also has a long-term problem with heroin. As is well-known, opium is grown in this area making heroin easily available. Thailand has also played a role as a distribution hub for heroin that is brought to Bangkok and then sent around the world. Due to strong suppression efforts by the government, very little opium is grown in Thailand, but a lot is grown in neighboring countries, especially Burma and Laos. A great deal of heroin still passes through Thailand, and there are still many heroin addicts in Thailand, though overall their number seems to be stable. Users tend to be marginalized members of society who are obvious in their drugged-out appearance. This is in contrast to amphetamine users who appear normal, and who may use drugs socially. Bangkok/Thailand also has a little spillover use of “high class” drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, and ketamine, etc. from wealthy countries. These drugs are used at rave parties or discos by the wealthy. They are too expensive to impact the lives of most Thais. There is also some casual use of marijuana. “Thai” marijuana, which may not always be grown in Thailand, is quite popular outside of Thailand. The use in Thailand is not too great, which may be a result of stiff repression of what is actually a quite mild drug. Bangkok and Thailand seem to have escaped some of the negative side effects of drug use, in particular violence. There is not much of a history of violence in Thailand of any sort. In Bangkok, there is very little violence that can be associated with drugs. Buyers seem to be able to get enough drugs to support their habit without resorting to violence or robbery. Perhaps that is because drugs are reasonably cheap here, close to the source of production in Burma. Probably it is also because amphetamines are not truly addictive, and if the money is not sufficient, they need not be bought. There is also little violence from rival gangs as the distribution network is quite decentralized with many separate channels for bringing and distributing drugs from the north. 3 Interestingly, corruption among police may also help limit violence by tacitly licensing the drug trade. Generally, each seller must pay a fee to the police in their street so that the police will “look the other way”. If another seller enters the market, the first seller may have the option of reporting the second seller to the police who then arrests the second seller on normal drug charges. Another effect of corruption is that there is little interaction (outside of bribes) between local police and the drug pushers. If the police don’t start a fight, why should the sellers start it? Amphetamine use is very widespread in Bangkok. One taxi driver stated it this way “There are 10,000 little side streets in Bangkok. You can buy amphetamines on every single one of them.” Drug use is also not especially an urban phenomenon in Thailand. Drug use is just as prevalent in other parts of the country, with some regions being worse, and others better. Amphetamines are viewed as a serious problem, both by the government and by the population. They are not accepted as a matter of course. However, there may be significantly different perceptions by different generations, with parents being very concerned that their kids are using drugs, and kids thinking that amphetamines are not a serious problem. The physical risk from amphetamines seems to be small. Most of the risk of using amphetamines is from being caught, wasting money, and most especially, wasting the opportunity to do something better with their lives. This author’s opinion is that the amphetamine epidemic is likely a fashion, that will fade in coming years. Nevertheless, the sheer magnitude of the problem is cause for alarm. Thai youth will probably move on to something else. Could that be another drug, or another anti-social behavior? Certainly it is possible, but we don’t know. As an aside, this author is also interested in going to try amphetamines now that I have heard so much about it. Such is the power of fads. In summary, Bangkok/Thailand is currently experiencing an amphetamine epidemic mostly amongst its youth. Amphetamines are used mostly as a social drug. Some of the worst aspects of drug epidemics are not in evidence in Thailand, with little violence, but with a commensurate rise in drug-related corruption as sellers, and sometimes buyers, pay off the police. Thailand shares extensive borders with some of the largest producers in the world of both amphetamines and heroin in the world. Despite great success at suppressing the production of illegal drugs of all kinds within its borders, Thailand’s location makes drugs both cheap and easily available. This is likely to continue for some time into the future. Research Objectives 1. To investigate the decisions made by illicit drug consumers, producers and distributors – the actors that constitute the illegal drug market. 2. To provide a rigorous basis for the development of drug policies for both national and international level. 3. To prepare a comprehensive study of the illicit drug market in Bangkok as a part of the UNDCP cross-city analysis. 4 Research Methodologies This research was prepared on the basis of both primary and secondary research methodologies. Secondary research consisted of an extensive literature review of related documents, past research and surveys, and recent unpublished papers, as well as evidence from the popular press. Primary research included a survey, a number of interviews, and a focus group discussion. Primary research took up approximately 80% of this team’s work effort, and secondary research about 20 percent. The primary research work can be described as follow: Cross-sectional survey The selection of the population and the samples for the survey were done using the “judgmental sampling” technique. The “probability sample” technique could not be adopted because due to the illicit nature of drug use, sampling from the total drug user population is not feasible. The largest group of drug dependents who are systematically available is the treatment client group. Of this group, heroin dependents make heavy use of treatment services while other drug addicts, such as amphetamine and marijuana users, do so much less frequently. Recently however, the court has been sending drug addicts of all sorts for treatment at full-cycle treatment centers. In our survey, more samples were correspondingly selected from the treatment centers with the full 4-stages of the treatment cycle. More samples were also selected from public hospitals and those private organizations with sufficient clients addicted to amphetamines. The 177 participants in our survey were from eight different treatment and rehabilitation facilities located in Bangkok. Of these, 10 cases, or 5.6%, were chosen from private clinics, 36 cases, or 20.3%, were drawn from non-government treatment and rehabilitation facilities, and 131 cases, or 74.0%, came from public hospitals. Interviews with users In-depth interviews were carried out with 13 participants in the illegal drug market: 3 heroin users, 8 amphetamine sellers, and 2 amphetamine users at the Klong Prem prison, Communita Introtro at Phatum Thani, and the New Life Project under the Duang Prateep Foundation at Lamae, Chumporn. Interviews with experts Interviews were completed with high-ranking officers from the Office of Narcotics Control Board, the head of the Office of Narcotics Suppression Center and some high-level enforcement officers from the Royal Thai Police Department. On the treatment and rehabilitation side, our team interviewed authorities at the Thanyarak hospital and the New Life Project under Duang Prateep Foundation. Interviews were also conducted with experts from Institute of Health Research, Chulalongkorn University, and from the Narcotics Control Division, the Food and Drug Administration, the Chief Advisor of the governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and key personnel who work on drug issues at the 99.5 FM radio station. Focus group A focus group was organized with representatives from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s drug-control operation team, community leaders from drug sensitive areas, and members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). 5 Limitations of the Research Some biases exist in our survey. Firstly, the survey may more heavily represent the poor than the rich. Most of the rich undergo treatment at private hospitals, but private hospitals refuse to cooperate in contacting or arranging interviews with clients. Secondly, treatment centers must be of sufficient size and have clients who use both heroin and amphetamines to be selected. The third, and biggest bias however, is that the survey is slanted towards the type of drug users who end up in treatment centers. These will tend to use drugs more heavily than the general drug using population, and perhaps are more likely to be pushers (more likely to be caught), or have more means of entering treatment than the general population. Current official records relating to drugs from the public authorities are diffused or not available at all. It takes several years for these records to be published and made public. Therefore, some quantitative data could only be presented incompletely. Few government officers have a clear understanding of the current drug situation in Thailand. Interviews, in many circumstances, mistakenly led us in the wrong direction. After all, every piece of information was checked and represented in the report. Outline This report consists of the following parts. Introduction Chapter 1: Supply Chapter 2: Demand Chapter 3: Market Clearing Mechanisms Conclusions and Policy Recommendations Appendix I: The Questionnaire Appendix II: Narcotics Control Laws Appendix III: Drug Related Information. Chapter 1 discusses the supply of drugs to Bangkok, including both the production stage in Burma, and the supply to, and within Bangkok. Chapter 2 contains the results of our questionnaire about drug use in Bangkok. It also gives considerable information about demand for illegal drugs in Bangkok. Chapter 3 gives information about the price and quality of illegal drugs in Bangkok, and then discusses the market structure at different levels of the supply chain. It also contains data about the estimated profits to different members of the supply chain. The conclusions and policy recommendations section tries to distill some of our insights from conducting this research. Finally the appendices give related information that does not easily fit into the general text of the paper. 6 Chapter 1 Supply Supply of Illicit Drugs in the Bangkok Area The illicit drug market has become much more diversified in the 1990s, in terms of type of drug, supply channels, demand (users) and form of distribution. The share of heroin in the illicit drug market has declined while the share of the stimulant drug, methamphetamine, has increased. At this time, methamphetamine and heroin are the major illicit drugs in Bangkok and Thailand. This chapter aims at explaining the sources of supply of important illicit drugs in Bangkok. The chapter explains the main points of the existing market structure, with an emphasis on the supply side. The nature of the illicit drug enterprises that supply Bangkok market is described. This includes the size of the organization, the supply network, connection with other illegal activities, financial credit system, and the structure of the market. For the production side, the methods they employ to produce drugs, trafficking route, and the characteristics of the drug traffickers are discussed. Finally, the sensitive area of illicit drug market in Bangkok area is discussed. I. Dynamism of the illicit drug supply in Thailand. Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) The synthetic substances or amphetamine-type stimulant includes amphetamine, methamphetamine and ecstasy-type substances. Trends on the extent of production, trafficking and consumption of ATS continued to rise sharply in Thailand during the past 20 years. The history of ATS market in Thailand can be divided into 4 periods2. 1) The amphetamine period (before 1980) Amphetamine was first marketed as over-the-counter (OTC) synthetic medulla stimulant drug in 1955. Amphetamines are known locally as yaa ma, literally translated as “horse pill”. Initially the pills were imported and imprinted with the picture of a “horse head” on the one side and “London” on the other side. Amphetamine was orally administered widely among unskilled labors and truck drivers on long cross country routes. The pills were mainly taken for work. It enabled a person to work non-stop over a long period of time without feeling tired. Amphetamine abuse became prevalent throughout the country and presenting a serious problem. The government took various administrative actions and designated amphetamine as “narcotics in the same schedule of Heroin”. The import of amphetamine has become under control. 22 Viroj Sumyai separates the period of the amphetamine into 3 periods; the abuse of amphetamine came first, on the dawn of western medicine in Thailand; the second wave involved bogus amphetamine or look-alike amphetamine; and the third, the abuse of methamphetamine (Viroj Sumyai, Thailand Country Report on Amphetamine – Type Stimulants, p.5). 7 2) The look-alike amphetamine period (1980-90) Look-Alike Amphetamines or bogus amphetamines are tablets or capsules that were made to look like real amphetamines and roughly imitate their effects. They usually contained varying amount of legal substances such as caffeine, ephedrine, pseudo-ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine, which were found in decongestant pills. Ephedrine and caffeine were found in common medicinal drugs and in the case of caffeine, it is a social drink such as coffee. They are sold on the street as “speed” and purported to be authentic amphetamines3. This type of amphetamines entered the market after the import of amphetamines was under control. It was a truly available substitution of authentic amphetamines. The law and regulations did not in effect until such drugs were spread out widely. In 1988, the psychotropic Substances Act 1975 was amended to strengthening control over raw materials of look-alike amphetamines. It led to the vanishing of the look-alike amphetamines in the markets. However, comparing with the amphetamine type, the consumption of look-alike amphetamine produced side-effects more than the consumption of pure amphetamine. Therefore, producers had been searched for the new type of stimulant drugs that had better quality. 3) The methamphetamines period I (1988-96) The new stimulant drug has been brought into the illegal market after the lookalike amphetamines declined. The new product has been synthesized in clandestine laboratories operating in Bangkok and upcountry beginning in late 1988. Most of the production were concentrated in the central area The steps of production were divided into 2 steps: producing methamphetamine powder and making complete tablet. The base material (precursor) is ephedrine which was smuggled into Thailand through three major routes: the Klong Toey port in Bangkok; the Thai-Burmese border, and the coasts of the Gulf of Thailand (Samut Sakhon) and eastern region. In 1996, the government changed the common name of ATS from “ya ma” to “ya ba” (meaning mad pill) to warn the public against its negative impact. However, these laboratories are small-scale operations and operated on an irregular basis rather than on a consistent production schedule. Operators often produce a batch of finished product, disassemble the laboratory, and either store or move it to another location while they acquire additional chemicals. Relocating the laboratory affords some protection against detection by drug law enforcement authorities. Besides, the first step to produce methamphetamine powder makes strong smell so production sides were located far from community areas to hide themselves from the officials. However, pill making were often employed in urban area or even in the van. Therefore, while there were only 5-10 large manufactures of methamphetamine, located in the central region covering 6-7 provinces, pill makers were found in more than twenty provinces. In 1988, Thailand succeeded in destroying 15 clandestine4 methamphetamine laboratories with the seizure of 97.415 kilograms of methamphetamine powder, 45 kilograms of ephedrine powder and 240,020 methamphetamine tablets. Viroj Sumyai, Thailand Country Report on Amphetamine – Type Stimulants, p.5 In general, the term clandestine laboratories range from elaborate, purpose-built constructions to mere kitchen operations. 3 4 8 4) The methamphetamines period II (1996-present) The decline of production side inside the country arose from a strong suppression and an increase production in the Golden Triangle. Since 1996, the heroin producer group, especially the Wa group, in the Golden Triangle has increased its attempt to produce the stimulant drug type because it delivers a high return. The producer have access to ephedrine manufactured in Yunan. The ATS can be exported across ThaiBurmese border along existing heroin trading routes. Currently, ephedrine substances are produced in China, Taiwan, India, Japan and Germany. Such substances are under the control of UN. “Another trend which has been highlighted with regard to illicit heroin manufacture in South-East Asia is the increased connection of a networking in the production and subsequent trafficking of heroin and methamphetamine”5. The seizure data of methamphetamine along the Myanmar-Thailand has confirmed the fact that the Golden Triangle has been the new production side of ATS. In 1997 and 1998, 24.25 and 30.86 million tablets of methamphetamine were seized in transit from the Golden Triangle to Bangkok. It is estimated that approximately 70-80 per cent of methamphetamines used in Thailand is from the Golden-triangle area. The ATS from the Golden Triangle are in orange colour and imprinted with ‘wy’. The remaining are produced in Cambodia and Thailand. The old producer groups are still producing methamphetamine on time to time basis and mainly for pill making. Heroin Heroin entered the market in Thailand following the decline of opium after opium became an illicit drug in Thailand in 1959. Although McCoy (1972) has cited the interview of one police officer that the heroin number 3 laboratory was found in Bangkok, most supply of heroin number 3 were imported from Hong Kong by the Chinese network. However, in the late 1960s the “white powder” or heroin number 4 has been engaged in the market. The heroin laboratories were set up in the Golden Triangle in the 1960s. The heroin trading were used to finance several groups of minority in the fight against the Burmese government. Golden Triangle supplies about 60-70 per cent of heroin sold in the US market. However, since 1991 the production of opium in South West, covering Afghanistan and Pakistan, has surpassed the opium production in Golden Triangle, the area covering Burma, Thailand and Lao. The production of opium in Burma accounted for approximately 90 per cent of total opium production in Golden Triangle. Thailand’s opium production has been less than 10 metric tones since 1994. This was a result of successful narcotic crops control and highland development program initiated in the 1960s. However, since 1995, the opium production area has tended to increase from 168 hectares, producing 2 tones of opium, to 716 hectares in 1998, producing 8 tones of opium. However, it is no evidence of the existing of heroin manufacture in Thailand. 5 United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Global Illicit Drug Trends, 1999, p. 25 9 Therefore, it has been estimated that most heroin supplied in Thailand market is from the manufactures in neighboring countries. The major change of heroin market occurred in 1996, when there was a sudden drop of heroin supply in the market, following the surrender of Khun Sa, the drug lord who controlled major heroin production and trafficking for many years, to the Burmese government. The price of heroin had increased, after staying stable for a long time. Some heroin abusers turned to use ATS as substitute drug. At the same time an expansion of ATS market to the young generation that aims to use drug for entertainment has increased dramatically. The heroin market, therefore, has lost its market share to the ATS market. II. Politics of illicit drug producers in the Golden Triangle. While Thailand has been successful in its war against domestic illicit drug producers, the rise in narcotic production in Burma’s northeastern Shan State and the trafficking of heroin and the recently introduced methamphetamine into the Kingdom are causing serious problems. Thai anti-narcotic officers are increasingly and genuinely worried about the potential reversion to the situation of 1960s-80s when Thailand was plagued with serious drug addition and served as a trafficking route to the world markets. (Nation, 8/3/1999). The United Wa State of Army (UWSA), who currently is the major producer of heroin and methamphetamine, came into existence shortly after the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) crumbled a decade ago. A cease-fire agreement, orchestrated by Burma’s security chief Lt Gen Khin Nyunt, was signed in 1989 after the collapse of the Communist Party of Burma. Most of the CPB’s foot-soldiers were ethnic Wa who later joined the UWSA, which has its headquarters in Panghsang on the Burma-China border. The idea was to neutralize an approximately 20,000-strong army that had enough weapons to last them at least a decade. Burmese government did not want these weapons, most of which came from China, to fall into the hands of other rebel groups, especially the Mong Tai Army (MTA), leading by Khun Sa. Khun Sa was formerly, the volunteer local army under permission of the Burmese government to fight against CPB. However, Khun Sa had used that opportunity to expand his army and heroin trafficking by using the public road to transit heroin to the Thai-Burmese border. The profit from drug trafficking has been used to finance the expansion of his army and later had demanded the independence of the Mong Tai group. The MTA became the threat to the Burmese government. At the same time, due to an expansion of narcotics trafficking has threatened the world communities, especially the US that the problem of narcotics addictive has increased considerably. The world has pressured the Burmese government to arrest Khun Sa. The support of UWSA was the old strategy of Burmese government to support one minority group to fight against the other rebel group in this area because Burmese government has limited resources, both in terms of military and money, to suppress the rebel group. For the Wa, it was an opportunity to expand their heroin empire from their stronghold in Panghsang, northeast of Burma, to a new frontier along the upper ThaiBurmese border, the southeast of Burma. But nothing comes easy in trouble-plagued Burma as the same situation has repeated again. The expansion meant that a war between Wa and the Khun Sa’s Mong Tai Army, the Wa’s arch rival and business competitor, was 10 inevitable. In November 1995, Khun Sa and his army surrendered to the junta and the territory once controlled by the former opium warlord was left up for grabs as Burmese, Thai and Wa troops rushed in to plant their flag poles. The Wa has tried to control over the area from Panghsang to Mong Yawn and has demanded to own this land that they haven’t have it before. The conflict between the UWSA has increased after the surrender of Khun Sa. The Burmese government has demanded that the UWSA retreat to the Chinese border. Essentially, this would mean that their heroin and methamphetamine network through Thai gateways would be shut. However, the Chinese does not want them along their border either. In fact the growing drug problem in Yunan state forced the Chinese authorities to summon UWSA leader Pao Yochang for a stern warning. At one point, the Chinese threatened to cut off the flow of food to Wa territory (Nation, 24/3/1999). In short, the UWSA has become one of the world’s largest armed narcotics trafficking groups which operates out of Burma’s Shan State along the China-Burma and Thailand-Burma borders. The UWSA is becoming the dominant heroin trafficking army in the Golden Triangle, replacing Burma’s former opium warlord Khun Sa who surrendered to the Burmese junta in 1996 in return for amnesty. The group commands about 20,000 armed troops. Since 1996 UWSA has become the major methamphetamine producers for Thai market. Large quantities of heroin are transported through Thailand and Southern China on the way to markets abroad. Millions of methamphetamine tablets have flooded into Thailand (Nation, 12/4/99). Burmese government, after joining the ASEAN, must express its view on the narcotic problem. In 1999, Burmese government announced its plan for a long-term solution to its drug problem and claimed that it will eradicate all opium cultivation within 15 years, according to Win Aung, Burmese Foreign Minister. The Thai government has been faced with an immediate problem as the country has tuned in to a lucrative market for the methamphetamines, the raw material for which is produced inside Burma and along the two countries’ common border. However, the Burmese Foreign Minister dismissed allegations by some Western countries that Rangoon government has turned a blind eye to narcotics trafficking and blasted a recent narcotics report by the United States government for criticizing the Burmese military junta for not doing enough to tackle the problem. The US government has also criticized the Burmese junta of providing sanctuary for major drug traffickers, such as Khun Sa, who has been indicted in a US court for narcotics trafficking. The Foreign Minister defended Burma’s decision not to punish the former opium warlord or extradite him to the US on the grounds of national reconciliation and on the basis of the number of human lives saved with the amnesty deal between the former opium warlord and the junta. More than 15,000 of Khun Sa’s troops have surrendered and put down their arms (Nation, 9/3/1999). There is a rumor that Khun Sa has become the businessman who owns real estates and hotel in Rangoon. While defending the country from the blame of causing the narcotics problem in international communities, the Burmese Foreign Minister argued that the world must also share the blame for the methamphetamines that have flooded into neighbouring Thailand and the region as the precursor chemical needed to make the drug came from abroad and was transported through Burma’s neighbouring countries. 11 “We don’t have chemical ephedine in Burma. These chemicals are imported from India, China and Thailand” (Nation, 9/3/1999). However, finally Thailand and Burma agreed to intensify cooperation and the coordination of the law enforcement efforts with the aim of achieving total eradication of illicit drug production, processing, trafficking and use in ASEAN by the year 2020 in accordance with the Joint Declaration for a Drug-Free ASEAN as announced in Manila on July 25, 1998 (Nation, 9/3/1999). In 1998, tension between Burmese junta and the UWSA has been building up, threatening to end a decade-old cease-fire agreement. The Burmese government has ordered the UWSA to move back to their stronghold in Panghsang on the Burmese border with China, so far issuing two ultimatums without specifying the consequences should the armed rebels not comply. Naturally, the UWSA chose to ignore the demands and instead beefed up their logistics along the Thai-Burmese border opposite Chiang Mai province. The group has begun to welcome the outsiders, allowing Thai merchants to transport everything from household goods to construction materials. Twice a week, hundreds of local merchants line up at the checkpoint just north of Chiang Mai’s Ta Thon district to be screened by immigration and customs officers before entering what has long been a no-go area and only a couple of decades ago a place where headhunters roamed (Nation, 24/3/99). The trade relationship between Thailand and the Wa group is now expanding dramatically. Business dealing with the Wa group has gone on unchecked as national security took a back seat to the interests of a few in the private sector. Security officials say the controversial Baan Son Thon Doo checkpoint, which opened in 1998 after local businessmen lobbies the National Security Council, has enhanced the business link between Thai merchants and the UWSA. The pass was allowed to open despite the fact that contractor and workers would be paid with drug money. The UWSA has learnt from the mistake of Khun Sa by building up economic relationship with the Thai businessmen. This would be a wall to protect the illicit drug trafficking as the Thai businessmen would pressure Thai government to keep the checkpoints open. This was the case in 1998 when Thai government ordered to close the main checkpoints as the tension in this area increased. But only few weeks, these checkpoints had been reopen again with the complaints of the local businessmen. Currently, more than 1,000 Thai nationals are working in several construction projects, such as schools, hospitals, roads and a medium-sized dam, in Mong Yawn city of Shan State. The Mong Yawn city is only 20 kilometres from the Thai border. The city is a UWSA controlled area. It has been argued that construction of these infrastructure is financed by profits from the illicit drug trafficking. The headquarters of the UWSA are in Panghsang on the Burmese-Chinese border. After signing a cease-fire agreement with the Burmese military junta, the UWSA has in the past decade extended its drug operations southward to the Thai-Burma border. A road linking to the town to the UWSA’s major stronghold in Panghsang on the Burma-China border is progressing. At the same time a loop from Mong Hsat, some 70 kilometers from Mong yawn, to the commercial town of Tachilek, the city next to ThaiBurmese border, is expected to complete recently. The entire route from Mong Yawn to 12 Panghsang is about 500 kilometers. Once completed, the route is expected to enhance the UWSA’s grip to the region. On the sub-contractor building a UWSA-financed road said he likes dealing with them because there is no bureaucratic red tape. “They will pay you on the spot upon completing each kilometre with cash” (Nation, 5/9/1999). A road construction project financed by both the junta and the UWSA will link Chiang Mai’s Mae Ai district to Mong Yawn and Mong Hsat, some 90 kilometers in side Burma’s Shan State. A loop linking Mong Hsat to the popular border town of Tachilek opposite Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district is also on the way (Nation 24/3/1999). Millions of methamphetamine tablets produced by the UWSA flood into Thailand and the money is channeled out of the country through the very route that the drugs entered. In 1996, about US$600 million in unexplained foreign inflow was discovered in Burma’s shabby economy. Much of this came from drug money made possible by the tactical alliance between the numerous narcotic groups and the military government in Rangoon (Nation, 5/9/1999). The studies of the joint cooperation against illicit drugs in the Mekong countries led by Pornpimon Trichote (1998)6, specialist on Burma, suggest that unilateral efforts by individual countries have failed to curb the annual output of opium and its derivative heroin. At the same time, drug producers have made use of easy availability and legal loopholes in some regional countries to acquire chemical precursors used to produce new drugs like amphetamine type stimulant. Moreover, economic growth in recent years had brought the improved transport infrastructure that had facilitated the rise in trafficking. Therefore, the new approach to combat the narcotics trafficking should be implemented from the bottom-up instead of the previous top-down perspective. The new approach must integrate political, economic, social, culture, legal and historical factors into the equation when formulating their anti-drug policy. III. Illicit drug trafficking Drug trafficking between countries Nearly 80 per cent of methamphetamine and most of heroin sold in Thailand are produced in the Golden Triangle. The products are smuggled into Thailand across a long Thai-Burmese border of 1,800 kilometers, covering 7 provinces in the North of Thailand: Tak, Mae Hongson, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phayao, Nan and Uttaradit. There are hundreds of hill-tribe villages along the Thai-Burmese and Thai-Laotian borders. Several tens of factories for heroin and methamphetamine production have been located along the Thai-Burmese border and Thai-Laotian border (Figure 1). To avoid the suspension of illicit drug supply, narcotics producers have built several small size factories. If any factory is found by the suppression authority, other factories would supply the illicit drug instead. The owning groups can be roughly separated into 4 main groups. The Wa group is the largest and most influential among these heroin and 6 Pornpimon Trichote, Wacharin Yongsiri, Suparak Kanchanakhundee and Songrit Ponengern. 1998. The Studies of the Joint Cooperation against Narcotics in Thailand, Laos, Burma, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. Submitted to The Office of Narcotics Control Board. 13 methamphetamine producers, supplying nearly 60 per cent of total production. A number of Wa leaders have been convicted by the US court on charge of drug trafficking. The second group is a group from the Burmese district of Kokang, referred to as the Kokang Democracy United Army (KDUA), This group is relatively new to methamphetamine manufacturing and trade. The KDUA has been a long-time producer of heroin. High profits from amphetamine production relative to heroin production, have encouraged them to increase their concentration on amphetamine production. Originally, the KDUA operates from the northern part of Shan State, close to the Burmese-Chinese border. In recent times, some of the independent forces move southward close to Thai border to protect the amphetamine trafficking business. Another important group has risen from the remnants of the former Khun Sa group. This group of about 4,000 men formerly of the MTA, make up the third largest tribal amphetamine supplier. Although the Burmese government claimed that 15,000 men of Khun Sa gave up the fight following their leader, in fact, some of Khun Sa’s men spilt into groups. Some carried on drug business along the Burmese-Thai border, mostly in the areas opposite Chiang Rai’s Mae Fah Luang district, as well as in Mae Hong Son province. The fourth much smaller group among these hill tribe producers of amphetamines, composing approximately 1,000 armed men, is from the Communist Party of Burma. The group is known as the Eastern Shan State Army (ESSA). Besides, there are several small groups of hill tribes and Chinese, such as Haw (Chinese), Palong, Pa-o, Arakan and Muser. However the size and number of factories owned by above mentioned groups varied from large and modern production plants to medium and small scale plants. Apart from the high returns of the narcotics business, there are still other conditions that made this area as a large narcotic supply for neighbouring countries and the third countries might be explained clearly by Pornpimon Trichote et al. (1998) conclusion that: “Myanmar has an ideal climate for opium cultivation, and the civil war in Shan State creates a power vacuum which encourages growth in the lucrative narcotics trade. China supplies the necessary chemicals for processing and refining narcotics, and also provides trafficking routes. Laos also produces opium, and because of their strategic location as a land-link, serves as a transit route for drug” (Pornpimon Trichote et al. 1998: Abstract). According to the ONCB7, authorities have identified several villages on either side of the borders, whether they have located in Thailand, Laos and Burma, served as storage areas for traffickers. Officials have accused these hill tribes involved in the illicit drug trafficking. Large amount of illicit drugs were carried and then kept in the storage that might be hundreds of ground holes in the forest near the villages to hide from the eye’s of the officials (Figure 2-3). The illicit drugs would then be transported to the wholesalers in the city and then again be transported to other provinces for selling to retailers and then consumers in the country. Aside from storage, the villages also serve as meeting points 7 From interview several authorities from Office of Narcotic Board. 14 for selling, buying and delivery of illegal drugs. Such villages are usually located near at least one other village on the opposite side of the border. Both villages have regular contacts, bound by blood or marriage, and common interests. The main important is that they could communicate in their own language. The narcotics trade goes on almost every day in border villages; people from different places meet and talk drug business. The ONCB officials found that tribesmen earn between 1-3 baht for each methamphetamine tablet they transport across the border into a Thai village, depending on the current degree of suppression. Authorities have identified almost 157 border villages that serve as stopovers, storage areas, trading areas, or meeting areas in the illicit drug industry. Of these, about 100 villages are located in Thailand, 42 are in Burma and 15 are in Laos. However, the narcotics suppression is very difficult, as the officials do not fight with the person but rather the network of organization that involved almost the whole families in the villages which may be classified as drug dealer, drug runner and drug supporter. Moreover, the hill tribes have constructed the network between the villages. For example, on June 2, 1998 Thai narcotic suppression police officers raided a Lisor hill tribe village in Chiang Mai. They found 2,000 tablets of methamphetamine and 10 million baht in cash. A number of weapons were also found. However, they have rarely found a large amount of illicit drugs (Bangkok Post, September 12, 1999:6). This might be that the illicit drug might be hidden somewhere in the jungle that surrounded the village or it was shipped out of the village just before the raid. However, nobody was arrested in the village which was known to have close connections with the Wa group. The story of this village was published in the Bangkok Post, September,12 1999, page 6. “The village lies ten kilometres away from a Wa production base in the Burmese area, where armed Wa soldiers are said to patrol regularly. The Lisor village also had seven permanent quests who, villagers say, were ‘village’s representatives of the Wa.’ However, the ONCB report identifies these representatives as ‘Wa or Thai or other tribal race.’ These informants, working either for the Wa drug ring or the United Wa state Army, keep an eye on the drug cache, make deals with buyers, collect money and make contacts outside the villages. Authorities found evidence that these Wa representatives deposit drug money at banks in Mae Ai as well as in Chiang Mai’s Fang district. Authorities also found the ya baa tablets are sold in a minimum of one tua (one lot), comprising 100,000 tablets. The small Lisor village has been hosting transactions that average a million tablets a month.” High profits from the drug business have given traffickers the power to spend on luxury goods and bribe officials. Usually, the high-ranking drug traffickers bribe some officers for the Thai identification card. From this evidence of being Thai, they could buy land, house, car and etc. Officials said that more cooperation from residents of border villages was needed in the efforts to curb the smuggling of drugs, particularly methamphetamine pills. He said most villagers had refused to cooperate with officials for fear of retaliation from drug traffickers. 15 Besides police suppression of drug dealers and users could not effectively tackle the root of the problem. It really needs the cooperation from Burmese authorities in providing a long-term solution to the problem. The distance along Thai-Burmese border is approximately 1,800 kilometres. Traffickers could infiltrate through any location along the border. There are approximately 5 permanent checkpoints, 2 temporary checkpoints, and 70 trading points, for a total of 77 traditional crossing points which are allowed to open for the movement of people and goods, including logs. A number of previous drug arrests in the area suggested that many of the people hired by the Wa to smuggle drugs into Thailand were hired mainly from Lisor and Mhong ethnicities. Both ethnicities set up their communities along the Thai-Burmese border. The Lisor ethnicity was employed mainly as drug runners while the Mhong group has tried to create a trade network connecting to the famous rehabilitation center in Saraburi province, “Tham Krabok”, a place where hundreds of Mhong have come to rehabilitate themselves from heroin addiction. However, this place, later, has been accused as the center for Hmong to organize the narcotic trade. The number of arrested Mhong both in the North and Bangkok has increased. Violence has increased in the areas along the border. For example, on 11th of April 1999, there were two gunfights between drug smugglers and authorities. First, Thai soldiers had a brief gunfight with three armed soldiers who crossed from Burma into Thailand near Fang district of Chiang Mai. One of the armed intruders, who was shot dead in the gun battle, was an ethnic Wa. Second, only one hour after the first case, one Thai police officer and two ethnic Lahu men were shot dead during the 30-minute gunfight between drug smugglers and authorities in Vieng Pa Pao district of Chiang Rai. The surviving culprits from the two incidents fled back over the Burmese border. Ten days before these two shoot-outs, nine Thai villagers, who were believed to be drug dealers, were killed by the troops of the UWSA in Fang district (Nation, 12/4/99). Moreover, on 7th of June 1999, the shootout between about 70 members of the Thai military and an unspecified number of armed drug traffickers went on for nearly an hour. During the incident, seven suspected methamphetamine traffickers were shot dead. The police officers were able to seize 1.5 million methamphetamine tablets, two automatic rifles and two grenades. Thai suppression authorities have imposed a curfew from 8 PM to dawn on five districts along the Thai-Burmese border after the gunfight (Nation, 8/6/1999). As the illicit drug business requires armed guards, the drug trafficking business is always also involves in illicit arm smuggling. For example, on the 8th of September 1999, police officials seized two surface-to-air missiles and arrested two men for allegedly trying to sell the weapons to the ethnic Wa army. The missiles were bought from Cambodian soldiers in a border town near the Thai-Cambodian border. The two men had paid 150,000 baht for each missile and were planning to sell them to the UWSA for 600,000 baht each (Nation, 9/9/1999). 16 Figure 1 Heroin and Amphetamines Factories Along the Border Source: Bangkok Post, September 12, 1999, page 6. 17 Figure 2 Drug Trafficking Routes Source: Bangkok Post, September 12, 1999, page 6. 18 Figure 3 Drug Hot Spots Source: Bangkok Post, September 12, 1999, page 6. 19 Figure 4 Drug Trafficking Routes Outside and Inside Thailand Source: Bangkok Post, January 10, 1999 20 Trafficking routes within the country One high-ranking member of the suppression police pointed out that “Drugs dealers no longer drive pick-up trucks but rather expensive sedans”. The problem occurs, as the police are reluctant to question or search people driving expensive sedans. Drug traffickers utilize all kind of transportation, ranging from road, air and water. The most common routes are road transport which the drug runners use private cars, both the pickup and expensive cars, public transport and trucks. In the past twenty years, Thailand has paid much attention to develop infrastructure. Every province has been connected by the new road. This factor has helped the drug runner to utilize the good condition of road for drug trafficking (Figure 4). In the past few years, the trafficker used the direct road from North to South. After the suppression police has set up several checkpoints along the main road. Traffickers have turned to employ other connecting routes. For example, the main northern route from the border town of Tachilek in Burma to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phayao, and Lampang, and Bangkok has been diverted into the northeastern provinces. However, recently the drugs were found at the domestic airport. Trafficker are very quick to change their tactics. Sometimes the drugs were hidden inside buffalo and cow carcasses or inside fruits and vegetables transported to Bangkok. This makes it hard for the police to search without destroying the commodities. In this way, the police must rely on intelligence information. If the police make the mistakes for inspecting agricultural products but find nothing, they have to pay for the compensation by their own money. Some traffickers even pretended to move house and hide the drugs among the furniture. In this circumstance, it is hard and take time to search. For the private car, the drugs would be hidden in loudspeakers, car tyres, under the seat or in the backrest. Some of them keep changing license plates. However, there were new alternatives Developed recently, that is, the big dealers bought the pure methamphetamines powder from the northern border and rent the vacant house nearby Bangkok to make the tablet. By this way, the big dealers can supply the large amount of methamphetamine with lower risk of suppression. Recently, the police found the methamphetamine factories, located in the provinces next to Bangkok or in the district border of Bangkok. These factories could produce millions of methamphetamine tablets. 21 A new way of ATS trafficking is to trade recipes for producing the amphetamines and methamphetamines through the Internet, namely e-commerce. The ingredients and recipes for illicit drug production are sold at the website. The website is operated by a company set up with a UK license in 1995. The company claims it gives people information about how to produce their own medicines. The company has a branch office in Bangkok. Wirot Sumyai, Director of Narcotics Control Division in the Food and Drug Administration, said websites where narcotics recipes are sold have become a serious problem in the US, where secondary school students can produce their own drugs by paying US$70 for a recipe through the Internet. This kind of production has been named as Kitchen illicit drug or home-lab. The methamphetamine group has more than 186 different structural recipes. Among this group, the most favorites among users are those called 2-CB and 2-CD by dealers and sometimes called “nexus”. The drugs’ structural recipes and their synthesizing methods have been written as simply as cook books and are being sold in the black market in countries such as Taiwan and Germany, said Viroj Sumyai (Nation, 24/6/99). IV. Illicit drug markets in Bangkok: A Case Study of Klong Toey Slum In general, the highest concentration of drug addicts are found in densely populated communities, schools, and entertainment areas. When studying the supply side, of these the densely populated community can give us the most complete picture of the organization of dealers, persons working in the area and consumers. In Bangkok there are approximately 1200 communities and half of these are slum dwellings. In this study we choose to concentrate on the Klong Toey community. The Klong Toey community is claimed to be a distribution centre for both the retail and wholesale sale of illicit drugs. The Klong Toey community also serves as a source of supply for small dealers outside the community. The Klong Toey area has a long history of drug sales with the full circle diversity starting from the production, the consumption and distribution. The drugs sale process involves enormous number of child laborers. There are many groups of child labourers of all sexes and ages, and the level of severity is also diverse. The children have various status and roles in all aspects of the illegal business. The drug problem in child labour constantly becomes more serious. Illicit drug sales are connected to many parties, especially community leaders, local politicians, police and imprisoned parents. Due to the long history of illicit drug markets in the community, it may be said that the organizational structure of sale has been most extensively developed here. For this reason the Klong Toey community served as the prototype community that brings the techniques, the methods and the system of drug sale process to other communities. Physical condition Klong Toey Community is the biggest community in Thailand and it consists of 44 sub-communities in the territory of the Klong Toey District Office covering an area of 22 approximately 800 rai with about 110,000 dwellers or 21,500 families8. Of this area, about half is a dense community with 70,000 dwellers. Almost all the dwellers in the Klong Toey dense community migrated from rural areas to seek jobs and work as labourers in Bangkok. Legally, this densely populated area belongs to the Port Authority of Thailand. Situation of illicit drugs in the community Although an attempt to suppress and the movement to resist the illicit drug trade in the community are in the high level, the illicit drug markets are still continuously expanding. This is because the Mafia group has developed several branches to make the strong organization. According to the studies by Sompong Chitradab, confirming by an interview of some NGOs, the drug sale organization is greater than expected. The profits from illicit drug has led to the establishment of the Mafia group to power in the community. They can form the group of people to fight against the resisting groups and can mobilize the mob whenever they need to express their power. The people living in the community is, therefore separated into three groups, the group that supports the illicit drug Mafia, the group that resist the widespread of illicit drug in the community and the third which does not involve in the first two groups. The Mafia group has the connection with the authority and also the politicians both at the national and local level. To gain vote from the people living in the community, the politician has to, in some degree, compromise with the Mafia group. For the local politicians, some politicians has a connection with the Mafia group explicitly. Many called these local politicians as the representative of the Mafia group. In several cases the Mafia group use violence against the resisting group. One interesting example is the case of the removal of the local police station chief in August 1999. On August 9, 1999, the group of 250 adults and children, led by Prateep Ungsongtham-Hata9 rallied in front of the police headquarter to protest against the transfer of the police station chief of Klong Toey who had received the reshuffle order to move out from the station. The rally group claimed the reshuffle order was unfair, adding the officer had done a great job in curbing drugs. The group argued that the reshuffle was politically motivated. The group also gave information that the transferred officer had effectively reduced the drug problem in the community. This has been confirmed with the fact that 1,261 drug cases were brought to the court in 1998, compared with 702 cases in 1997 before the arrival of this officer (Bangkok Post 10 August 1999). Before the rally of this group, there was another rally group of people living in Klong Toey slum to demand the transfer of this official, saying that he has failed to alleviate crime and drug problems. In March 1997, some Klong Toey dwellers submitted a complaint to a Prime Minister’s aide against Prateep Ungsongtham-Hata. The group expressed that for the past year the group had problems with Prateep over her statements to the press regarding narcotics trafficking in the slum community. They also accused 8 Sompong Chitradub, Rapid Assessment of the Child Labour in the production and trafficking of drugs in Thailand, December 1999. 9 Prateep Ungsongtham-Hata is a famous NGO who has been working in the Klong Toey community for nearly 30 years and set up the Duang Prateep foundation that aims to develop and solve the social problems in the community. 23 that the police station chief (in 1997) had tended to take sides with Prateep whenever there was some conflict between the two rival slum groups (Nation). History of the illicit drug market Being the very old community for laborer and the poor, Klong Toey slum has a history of narcotics abuse. The beginning of the drugs was natural substance such as marijuana and opium. Then it moved to heroin, namely among the users as “cap”. Currently, the methamphetamine is widespread in the community, especially for the new generation. However, heroin is still spreading among the older generation over the age of 3310. To quote: “Currently, most of the spreading drugs are the amphetamines. The youth who use these drugs are between the ages of 14 and 25. All the communities in Klong Toey have the drugs, which are the amphetamines, for sale. The average ratio of the small drugs retailers in each community is not lower than 8 retailers/community. It is estimated that each day 25,000 amphetamine tablets are sold by the retailers. Klong Toey is also the big agent that delivers the drugs to other locations in Bangkok. At present, it can be considered that the spread of the drugs in the Klong Toey area as very serious in the comparison with the drugs spread during the past 13 years. But one good thing is that there are fewer drugs addicts in the area. Mostly, the drugs are sold to the people outside or to the group of people who rent the lodging and work in that area”11. Sompong Chitradab, therefore, concluded that Klong Toey is drug selling area. Most consumers and buyers are the people outside the community. On the contrary, Prateep Ungsongtham-Hata, who also runs the rehabilitation centre, located in the South of Thailand, though that the problem of amphetamine users among the youth living in the slum Klong Toey has increased continuously. Market strategy The are three important market strategies. First, the sale is divided in to areas or selling lines. About 5 big agents in 5 areas bring the drugs in for sale and deliver them to their selling staffs and small retailers in the community to sell further by using the old channel of illicit drug. Most of the drugs are not kept in the area but outside. Second, It has been found that the most new retailers come from the users. The way to expand the market, dealers will persuade their own customers to be the seller. This can be done from sale in large amount with the big discount. When customers bought them they could not consume the whole lot by themselves. So they will try to sell to new customers. This methodology is the same as the direct marketing in the normal product market, namely multilevel marketing (MLM). Finally, the most common developed strategy in recent years was to use children as couriers. Several articles have been published in the newspapers about ‘Children become drug pushers at an early age’. The in-depth interviews of several cases of drug addicts and dealers confirm this fact. To quote: 10 Sompong Chitradub, Rapid Assessment of the Child Labour in the production and trafficking of drugs in Thailand, December 1999. 11 Ibid. 24 ‘Tee became a peddler of amphetamine pills when he was eight years old. Born to a poor family in the slums of Klong Toey, Tee, now 11, first became involved in pushing drugs at the persuasion of his peers in the slum. His parents also made a living from selling speed pills…..When he turned eight, his father was arrested and jailed for drug dealing. Soon his mother followed on similar charges. He was left in the care of his grandmother, who was too old to look after him. It was then that he plunged deeper into the illicit drug trade. Tee said he often escaped from his grandmother and spent a week or more at the house of the drug dealer who was wellknown in his neighbourhood….The boy was arrested early this year while delivering drugs to a customer. Police found him carrying seven amphetamine pills’ (Bangkok Post, 23 August 1999). Being the children in the family that their parents involved in the illicit drug trade make it easy for them to enter into the market. Several cases began with drug addict and then were persuaded to work with a drug dealer. Usually, the drug dealers want to use children as drug pusher as by this way the police may ignore or if the children were arrested they would not jailed but would be sent to a detention centre. Involvement with other illegal activities Several cases who turned to be drug dealers were formally in other illegal activities. According to Prateep Ungsongtham-Hata, the gambling dens provided the gamblers the liquid mixed with amphetamine to play a long hour in the dens. In some cases, the gamblers were forced to join the drug trade as being owing the loan shark money. V. Legislation and Law Enforcement For a drug problem to develop into an epidemic, there are a number of determining factors: 1. How to control and reduce the supply. This question, of course, depend on availability of enough legislation and how effective of law enforcement. 2. How to control and reduce the demand. This question has been raised after the failure of the measures on the supply side. The officials has come to new approach to tackle the problem, that is to immunize the society and to create a stronger community. On the supply side, law enforcement is weak. This has been confirmed by the fact that the profits from illicit drug has been used to pay off the officials and politicians to protect them. The following examples gave the clear picture of the corruption cases arising in the narcotics trafficking 1. There are several occasions that indicated the corruption problem in the suppression process. One of the good example was Li Yun-chung case. Li, who was later sent to the United States on charges of smuggling 486 kilogrammes of heroin into the US in 1991, was arrested in Thailand. Li was granted bail on February 7, 1997 by Criminal Court Deputy Chief Justice Somchai Udomwong despite a long-standing court practice against it. Li had quickly fled across the border into Shan State. Li was sent back to Thailand by the Burmese junta on May 17 upon the official request of Thai police. The 25 criminal Court Deputy chief justice was investigated under the rumours that Li had paid a 30 million baht bribe to obtain the bail. 2. Wei Hsuey-kang, an ethnic Chinese, is in charge of three UWSA battalions along the Thai border. Wei has been on the run from the Thai police since 1990 after he jumped bail and returned to Burma. He was arrested on November 23, 1988, for alleged possession and trafficking of 680 kilograms of heroin. Thai police had seized the drugs in s fishing boat off Chumphon coast on October 20, 1987. The origin of the drug was traced to him. The Eastern Court of the United States has indicted him on drug-trafficking charges and the government has put a US$2 million price tag on his head. Wei has managed to set up 10 major methamphetamine networks inside the Kingdom (Nation, 6/8/1999). 3. One of the ten of Wei’s network was headed by Surachai Nguerntongfoo, known as “Bung Ron”, who is believed to be staying with Wei and his men in Mong Yawn. Surachai had managed to escape from Thai police during a drug raid on his residence in October 1998 in Minburi district on Bangkok’s outskirts. It is estimated that about four million methamphetamine tablets are imported by Surachai into the country on a monthly basis. With the existence of nine other networks, the total amount of methamphetamine tablets entering Thailand in recent years could have reached 40 million a month said Pol Col Suchart Theeraswat of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police which is investigating the case (Nation, 6/8/1999). Until now, the Thai police still cannot arrest Surachai. And the case has not been open to the public what was going on during Surachai’s arrestment. There was a rumor that some officials called him before the police arrived at his home. Besides, the escape way of Surachai was conducted and accompanied by the people in uniform. From the drug dealer’s point of view, the best situation in which to prosper is one where the risk of prosecution is low, profits high and the market widespread It has been under argument whether it creates or reduces the problem when the government has restored to scare tactics, creating a belief in the minds of the general public that addiction to any drug is similar to heroin addiction Control of ATS and their precursors can be summarized with the following laws: Narcotic Drugs Act 1979 Initially, Narcotic Drugs Act 1979 is aimed to control opiates however ATS and its precursors were later added. The Act has been amended several time to keep control over the change in the ATS market situation12. Under this act, ATS are classified as 12 At present, there are 33 precursors under control. Among these controlled precursors, 10 of them are precursor of ATS production. They are: ephedrine, chloroephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, isosafrole, 3,4-methylendioxyphenyl-2propanone, 1-phenyl-2-propanone, phenylacetic acid, piperonal and safrole. Besides, more 8 essential chemicals are also placed under national control strategies. They are acetyle chloride, chloroform, ethylidine diacetate, glacial acetic acid, phosphorus trichloride, phosphorus pentachloride, thionyl chloride and caffeine. 26 schedule-I narcotics which is strictly prohibited for medical use. All precursor chemicals of ATS except ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine are classified as schedule-IV narcotics which handlers must obtain licenses to handle it. Such licenses are classified according to the kind of handling, such as possession for industrial use, possession for scientific use, etc. The license is granted by the Food and Drug Administration of the Public Health Ministry. Besides, import, export and distribution of schedule-IV narcotics by private enterprises are prohibited. It must done of behalf of the Food and Drug Administration. Utilization of the schedule-IV narcotics is regulated under the quota system. Therefore, the Narcotics Drugs Act 1979 represents the major legislation in relation to narcotics control in Thailand. This Act is very extensive covering all aspects of offences. The highest penalty under such law is death for schedule-I narcotics trafficking offence. Psychotropic Substances Act 1975 The Psychotropic Substances Act 1975 is aimed to control the import, possession, sale and use of psychotropic substances. The term “Psychotropic Substances” refers to any substance specified in the Psychotropic Substances List and includes any mixture, preparation, solution or natural substance containing such substance. The type of psychotropic substances under this law include substances used for industry and medicine. The handlers of psychotropic substances other than medical practitioners and pharmacist must obtain licenses. The strength of this Act is to prevent diversion of precursor chemicals and illegal production of ATS in Thailand. Administrative Organization In Thailand, drug law enforcement is undertaken by many agencies in accordance with the laws creating those agencies. These agencies are the Office of National Police under Office of the Prime Minister, Custom Department under the Ministry of Finance, the Bureau of Posts under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Office of Narcotics Control Board under Office of the Prime Minister, and the Food and Drug Administration under the Ministry of Public Health. National Drug Control Policy In 1997, Thailand implemented the 5th Narcotics Control Plan covering a period of 5 years (1997-2001) aiming to minimize the demand and supply sides of drug problems. The 3 main issues of Narcotics Control Plan are composed of (1) creating negative attitude against ATS in the public and improving the capability of communities in preventing and solving ATS problems; (2) developing a complete treatment and rehabilitation program for ATS addicts with emphasis on quality service and participation from families and communities; and (3) improving the legal and justice systems and procedures to efficiently and continuously intercept producers and dealers of ATS and related chemicals. Acknowledging the severity of ATS problems and their long term effects which undermine stability and economic development of the country, the government, considering the ATS control the leading domestic issues, proclaimed the Office of the Prime Minister’s Order No. 141/B.E. 2541 (1998) on Narcotics Drugs Prevention and Suppression Policy, under the strategy of state-civil alliance against ATS, with the objectives for the sudden control of the widespread of ATS and the reduction of ATS 27 problems by specific on the close cooperation and the unity of each concern sector in fighting against ATS. According to Prime Ministry’s Order No.141/B.E.2541 (1998), there are two main plans of actions. The first operation plan emphasizes on the sudden reduction of ATS problems in the 4 main target areas and groups comprising the communities with extensive ATS problems, transit areas along Thai border, all academic institutions at secondary, vocational and university levels, laborers in public transportation companies and fishery industries. According to this plan communities and educational institutes are to accumulate pressure against ATS related to misbehaviors. The addicts are to be treated as patients, while collaborative operation is to destroy the ATS production, trafficking networks and intercept ATS smuggling into the country. The second operation plan specifies on prevention and intervention of ATS problems with the permanent cooperation from communities aiming to build the strength, effectiveness and capacity of people organization to be leaders for conducting activities and projects to prevent and solve ATS problems in communities by themselves. 28 Chapter 2 Demand13 Introduction Heroin first appeared in the illicit drug market in Thailand in 1959 soon after the laws against opium addicts were enforced. In the first episode of heroin use, drug users used 3-6% pure heroin No. 3. The method of ingestion was smoking. It is thought that the heroin No. 3 being consumed in Bangkok during the 1958-1962 period was imported from Hong Kong by a Chinese network. This episode lasted only a few years and heroin became less popular, until higher quality heroin No. 4 became widely available in the late 1960s [McCoy, 1972; Laosunthorn, 1993; NCSWT, 1994; PDP, 1998; Visuthimach, 1998; Sumyai, 1999]. In the late 1990s, after almost 40 years of being the number one illegal drug on the black market, heroin was replaced by a synthetic drug, amphetamine. Truck drivers, agricultural workers, prostitutes and daily workers in Thailand had been familiar with amphetamine for decades. Although few people realize it, amphetamine appeared on the market in the early 1960s, almost at the same time as heroin [Visuthimach, 1998]. The street price of amphetamine in 1965 when its use was first recorded officially was only 6-12 baht a tablet [Poshyachinda and Pittayanond, 1985]. Amphetamine was known as the “speed pill,” and served users by letting them work longer hours. From many users’ point of view, the “speed pill” is comparable and is a substitute for other high energy beverages with a high caffeine content. Since it was thought that amphetamine would only be used by truck drivers and daily workers, enforcement officers ignored amphetamines and used their resources entirely on heroin and marijuana suppression as well as drug related crimes. Meanwhile amphetamine slowly grew in popularity without much notice. The recognition of the amphetamines problem began in the mid-1990s when policy makers finally recognized they had a problem on their hands. The legal penalty for amphetamine use, possession, and sale was increased to the same level as for heroin in 1996 and a national agenda against amphetamine use was formulated in 1998. Until recently, the arguments against ongoing drug policies, or at least the preventive actions, are obvious: amphetamine is always talked about as no different than heroin, and drug addiction is misguided to the particular problem of the poor: it happens in slums in the class of the violently disputed families. The notorious image of an amphetamine users is that of maniac, assault, and violent criminal. Interviews with many young addicts about their reasons to use amphetamine suggest something different. In fact, amphetamine is a social drug. A number of amphetamine abusers inhale the pills before drinking, motorbike racing at night, playing snooker, dancing in pubs and discotheques, or even playing sports. All activities are associated with groups. They are addicted to the smell and flavor of the pills and will be happier to perform any activity when they get “high”. Normally, most of us can not distinguish amphetamine abusers from ordinary people. In contrast, heroin addicts 13 The term “amphetamine” used throughout this chapter refers to Methamphetamine. 29 are easily noticed by their physical characteristics. The heroin addicts are quite isolated from the society. Especially, heroin is seldom developed with activities described in amphetamine. Many people think that drug abuse is not their problem. The perception that narcotics are used only by people in slums and there mainly by those with poor or separated families. It is de facto apparent that the amphetamine abuse is outbreak to every community regardless of the poor or the wealthy. Many seizures of drugs occupied at the condominiums and apartments in the residential area as well as villages in the suburb. To the turn of the century, drug abuse is no longer the problem of the poor. This paper contains 4 parts. Part 1 introduces the outlook of the drugs situation, policy implementations by relevant authorities, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation policies, and the investigation of the sources of problems. Part 2 covers the interpretation of the “Illegal Drug Market” survey, and part 3 is the analysis of the regression models on drugs in association with price and income. Part 4 is the conclusion of the findings. Part I. The Outlook of the Drug Situation in Bangkok 1. Drug Usage Drug users have long been started with marijuana before taking heroin. In recent years, however, marijuana has become less correlated with heroin as the first experimental drug. It turns out that new drug dependents commenced their experiment more directly to heroin as their first trial. Comparing with amphetamine usage, about half of heroin users starts their addiction with some other drugs prior to taking heroin, whilst three-fourth of Amphetamine dependents demand amphetamine because of what it is. Heroin serves as the next substance when users have already experienced with drug, whereas amphetamine is chosen for the curiosity of users who want to find out about it. The difference motive in the use of each drug implies the different means of designing prevention programs for the two. The motives for heroin use come mainly from social and economic problem, but the common reasons for stimulant use are for recreation and enhancing work performance such as night work and hard labor. More recently, however, the ways of use among adolescents expanded to cover the sex strengthening and obesity concern. 2. Extent and Pattern of Drug Abuse The number of drug dependents declined during 1995-1997 and was up again in 1998. The total number of drug users in Bangkok area is difficult to estimate. The largest group of drug dependents systematically recorded is the treatment client group. The annual statistics on the total drug dependence treatment population from the Department of Medical Services, Minister of Public Health, indicated that the total number of drug dependents in Bangkok fluctuated during 1994-1998, recording 27,958 persons in 1994, highest at 31,441 in 1995, declining to 23,376 in 1997 and jumping up to 25,764 persons in 1998 [DMS/MPH and DDRC/IHR, 1994-1998]. (Figure 2.1) New cases constitute about 20% of the treatment clients and its proportion consistently declines from the peak at 31.0% in 1995 to 21.7% in 1998. The return of increasing 30 number in 1998 may reflect the outcome of the economic crisis in Thailand since 1997 and requires more investigation. The statistics from the Corrections Department at the end of October 1999 show that the number of prisoners charged with violation of narcotic control laws accounts of 52.67% of the total prisoners in the country. The number of drug-related offenders amounts to 68.82% of the total prisoners in Bangkok area in 1999, in comparison to 60.61% in 1996. Heroin offenders declined 8.5% during 1996-1997, but the figures slightly increased thereafter.14 (Figure 2.2) Figure 2.1 : Past Month Users of Heroin, Marijuana, and Amphetamine 35000 10000 30000 25000 Number of Users Figure 2.2: Imprisonment of Drug Offenders in Bangkok Area 8000 20000 Number of 6000 Persons 4000 15000 10000 5000 0 1994 1995 2000 1996 1997 Year 0 1996 1998 1997 1998 1999 Year Heroin Amphetamine Marijuana Others Heroin Amphetamine Marijuana Others The turning point happened during 1995-1996 when that Khun Sa, the key controller of the illicit production and trafficking, surrendered to the government of Myanmar. It caused a supply shortage and a sharp heroin price increase [ONCB, 1996]. On the demand side, the addicts adjusted toward more combined drug use, and also, the expansion of amphetamine abuse. On the supply side, the drug sellers evaded police arrestment by finding some other tactics in transporting, hiding, and selling channels. A faulty subsequent outcome is the introduction of young children into the drug trade in recent years. Heroin Follow a price rise in 1996, there have been significant adaptations in the behavior of heroin dependents. Some have either switched to use more amphetamine or applied other kinds of drug. The number of alternated users starts climbing and may pose difficulty for treatment process. (Figure 2.3) The more-than-one-drug data for heroinreentry cases rose from about 8% in 1996 to 10% in 1998. Also, a spike up of average spending on drug per day and the higher consumption frequency per day were eminent among reentry amphetamine cases who are former heroin users in 1996. Somehow, the data on the Statistical Reports from the department of Health Services, Ministry of Health understated the number of alternated use of drug addicts. The actual number of alternated drug users is very much higher than it was reported. A survey was conducted to check the 14 The number of heroin offenders in the prisons in the Bangkok District and vicinity rises 7.1% between 1997 and 1998, and rises 8.3% between 1998 and September 1999. 31 dissertation. One half of heroin users in the sample apply heroin in combination with other drugs and about 10 percent of amphetamine users do similarly. Amphetamine In contrary with the pattern of heroin use, as high as 95% of the amphetamine dependents over the past 4 years use only a single drug. (Figure 2.4) Amphetamine users do not mix amphetamine with other drugs. However, the limitation from the data set of the statistical report from MPH/IHRCU is that the pattern of drug use does not clearly represent the behavioral relations with cigarette, alcohol, and other recreation activities. Figure 2.4: Pattern of Amphetamine Use Figure 2.3: Pattern of Heroin Use 4 35 3.5 Number of Persons (in thousands) Number of Persons (in thousands) 30 25 20 15 10 5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1995 1996 Year 1997 1998 Year Heroin Only Heroin and Marijuana Amphetamine Only Amphetamine and Marijuana Heroin and Amphetamine Heroin and Others Amphetamine and Heroin Amphetamine and Inhalants 3. Characteristics of the Drug Dependence Population More than 90 percent of drug dependents are male. The majority of heroin dependents fall between 20-24 years of age. More than half of amphetamine dependents belong to the age group of 14-19 years old. In 1998, of all dependents, 81 percent use heroin and 17 percent used amphetamine. The male dominates more than 92% of all drug dependents throughout the last 5 years. For heroin, age on admission shows increasing trend and is highest in the age group 20-24 years old. For amphetamine dependents, almost 60% of whom are between 15-19 years old. In 1998, the principal type of drug most commonly used during the last 30 days before admission was heroin, 80.9%, followed by amphetamines, 17.0%. The percentage of student group among new case heroin users gradually declined over the past 4 years. Instead, amphetamine became more popular among this group. However, while the percentage of unemployed among new case heroin dependence group remained stable except for 1998, the proportion of unemployment on the amphetamine 32 users was off and on during the past 4 years. (Figure 2.5 and 2.6) In Bangkok, students constituted 38.8 and 42.1% of the new stimulants users in 1997 and 1998 respectively. However, it should be noted that by ways of keeping the records, the number of student group among new amphetamine users reports demonstrates both cases of occasional use and dependence [PDP, 1998]. Figure 2.5 : Percentage of Student and the Unemployed Among New Case Heroin Users Figure 2.6 : Percentage of Student and the Unemployed Among New Case Amphetamine Users 100% 100% 90% 80% 80% 70% 60% Percent Percent 60% 40% 50% 40% 30% 20% 20% 10% 0% 0% 1994 1995 1996 1997 1995 1998 1996 Unemployed Temporary Job Others 1998 Year Year Student 1997 Permanent Job Student Unemployed Temporary Job Others Permanent Job 4. Modes of Intake Injection is most prevalent among heroin users. The oral intake for amphetamine has been changed almost entirely toward smoking. The route of administration of drug varied depending on which type of drug. Injecting is most prevalence among heroin users and smoking is most common among amphetamine users. The prevalence of injecting heroin has increased during the last 5 years, from 52.2% in 1994 to 69.0 % in 1998. (Figure 2.7) The heroin user normally administers the drug 2-3 times per day. The data reported that the frequency of using drugs for new cases has declined. 33 Figure 2.8: Mode of Intake - Amphetamine, new cases Figure 2.7: Mode of Intake - Heroin, new cases 100% 100% 90% 90% 80% 80% 70% 70% 60% 60% Percent Percent 50% 50% 40% 40% 30% 30% 20% 20% 10% 10% 0% 0% 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1995 1996 Year Inject Smoke 1997 1998 Year Inject Oral Smoke The heroin price escalation in 1996 has also impacted the applying habit of the heroin users. Some changed from smoking to intravenous injecting while some use them with other drugs. A striking change happened with the amphetamine users as well. In 1996, the proportion of oral intake dropped substantially from the preceding year. (Figure 2.8) About one-fourth of new cases of amphetamine dependents took amphetamine by eating in 1995. For a year later, the figure of oral intake declined to only 5%. It is reported that heroin is bought or sold in 3 most common measuring units: “tua” or tube (50 mg), “fa” (200-250 mg), and “bic” (1 g). For amphetamine, it is shipped in 200 tablets per package covering with plastic tape. The retailers will divide it into the 5-10 tablets and put it into a straw. They can sell the whole straw or cut it off for retail sales. The best selling amphetamine is in the orange color with WY trademark on it.15 5. Trends Amphetamine use is on the rise and heroin is on the decline. Through the 1990s, the total users of heroin as reported in the annual statistics on the total drug dependence treatment population remained stable at the high level until the last 4 years. Beginning in 1996, the trend of decrease population size occurred with the replacement by amphetamine abuse [PDP, 1998]. The total heroin treatment population from 45 drug dependence treatment units distributed over the Bangkok area showed the peak of 30,167 cases in 1995, then dramatically dropped to 24,463 and 20,092 cases in 1996 and 1997 respectively. (Figure 2.1) In addition, the proportion of new cases heroin users that used to dominate more than 90 % in prior years dropped dramatically after 15 WY is the trademark for amphetamine from the United Red Wa Republic in Shan independent state of Myanma. 34 1995. In 1998, new heroin dependents entering the treatment were declined to only 50%. (Figure 2.9) Figure 2.9: Percentage of New Case Classified by Type of Principle Drug Used During the Last 30 Days 100% 80% Percent 60% 40% 20% 0% 1994 1995 1996 Year Heroin Amphetamine Marijuana Inhalants Alcohol Others 1997 1998 Opium The factors contributing to such trends include shortage of heroin supply in 1996, a higher profit margin for amphetamine trading, fads among adolescent group, and driving force from economic crisis since 1997. The rapid expansion of amphetamine users was evidenced in Thailand country report [DDRC/IHR, 1998]: “Methamphetamine abuse in Thailand increase because some heroin abusers change their behavior by higher involving with methamphetamine trade or abuse of these 2 kinds of drugs simultaneously. This occurrence has several support factors, for example, the increase of the demand, the higher profit from methamphetamine producing and trading” 6. Drug Use by Youth Group Drug abuse among high school and college students nationwide has more than doubled in the last five years. The Office of Narcotics Control Board reports that drug abuse among high school and college students nationwide has more than doubled during 1994-1998, rising from 71,666 in 1994 to 199,000 cases in 1998 [Bangkok Post, 17 May 1999; the Nation, 10 April 1999]. A recent estimate by ONCB asserts more serious situation. In 1999 alone, the number of 463,184 students was reported. An estimated 12.4% of students used drugs 35 or were associated with drugs in 1999 comparing to only 1.4% in 1998.16 The major change falls on a huge increase of the number of users from schools under the General Education Department. Its proportion increases from 26.1% of drug users in 1998 to 47.1% in 1999. The major drugs being abused are amphetamine, marijuana, and inhalants consecutively. A study summarizes the factors contributing to the wide spread of drugs among students on the larger number of drug producers of whom students are the target, unemployment, dysfunctional families, poverty, weakness of education system, and feeble role of teachers, educational institutions, and communities [Berger and Glind, 1999]. Another study states that 72.4% of the children sell amphetamine for money to buy expensive things, and have money to buy drugs. Young female participates in the drug dealing in a short period before ending up with child prostitutes [Chitradub, 1999]. Drug sellers will deal with only those they know, leaving the task of searching for customers to amateur young addicts. Some young dealers sell drugs to their friends on credit as well as advancing their friends money if they do not have enough. Next, the profit figures from drug trade urge more and more students get into this business. The youngsters start their drug experiment primarily due to their curiosity and friend’s persuasion. Once became addicted, they were later persuaded to join the trade. In Klong Toey condensed communities, the young addicts were usually assigned to wait for drug purchasers, they are normally given 10-20 pills for sales on each round, and either earn 10 baht per each tablet sold or receive drugs in return instead. For the starters, they will get 5 tablets of drug at a time, one tablet is kept whilst the rest is sold and the money is returned to drug dealers. Their main targets are taxi drivers and motorcyclists from both inside and outside areas, and the place where they capture the customers most is at the main entrance where they can spot people who come ins and outs or at the playground of the community.17 Because of the rapid increase in the number of people dealing with drugs, drug sellers look for a new target and expand their market to educational institutions. Many students had become drug dealers at school, some to boost their income and others simply to satisfy their own drug need. The drug trafficking locations include toilets, classrooms, school lawns, gas stations and hotels. An 18-year old Mathayom 5 (grade 10) student reported that he first tried amphetamine five years ago in a school toilet by the urging of his seniors. Similarly, he later turned to urge other students to satisfy his growing drug need. The money earned for A recent survey on “Drug Use Survey among Students in Thailand” was conducted by the Office of Narcotics Control Board. The survey was done during July-August 1999 to the students from elementary school level 6 to undergraduate level. The sample size is 36,337 cases. The number of drug-related students results in 663,290 persons, including 285,866 users, 143,607 ever-use persons, 80,819 dependents, 56,499 sellers, 50,442 both dependents and sellers, and 46,057 users and sellers. 17 The story of Satit, a 13 years old boy from Klong Toey, who was arrested at the beginning of the year 1999, was reported in Bangkok Post, 23 August 1999. 16 36 a retailer from selling speed pills to customers in his neighborhood is around 600-800 baht a day. This easy money enables him to smoke up to 15 pills a day [Bangkok Post, 17 May 1999]. The main dealer’s trick of the trade is to have a child addicted to the drug first, then easily turn him into a dealer. The dealers often provide the young prospects with free drugs at the early stages of addiction. After a while, they begin to charge the young addicts money. More seriously, Police General Pracha Promnok, chief of the National Police Office, noted that some amphetamine sellers aimed their target at children in Bangkok Kindergartens. They approached children and persuaded them to drink beverages mixed with amphetamines [Bangkok Post, 12 March 1999]. The benefits of using school children to sell drugs are two folds. Having young addicts as drug pushers not only expands new market in schools, but also evades the strong enforcement of the police. According to the study of Chitradub (1999), the justice process on the young has the loopholes that allow the drug dealers make exploitation of it. The law penalty for the young is light; the children below the age of 18 will be released with warning and the children between 18 and 20 years old will receive only one-third or half of the penalty of the adults. As a result, the young drug delivers are arrested and released all the time [Chitradub, 1999]. Amphetamine and gambling emerge in every step of these children’s activities from meeting at snooker tables, convening at playgrounds, playing sports, to racing motorcycles at night. Amphetamine enables users to play cards for several consecutive days without feeling sleepy. Besides, gambling also has a role with drugs in a way that it becomes a source of making money to buy drugs. One crucial aspect of relationship between drugs and gambling is that drug dealers use gambling as a way to find drug pushers. Influential narcotic dealers in Klong Toey slum also operate gambling dens in the community. When the losers are unable to pay their gambling debts, they will be forced to mortgage their shacks to the drug dealers. Borrowers are sometimes forced to pay daily interest on gambling loans by giving their children to deliver drugs to customers of the dealers. The children will be taken at the first time to see the customers or their houses before being put on the delivery job. Often, they wait for the customers to come and pick up the drugs directly from them. Ones who refuse to allow their children to work as couriers are beaten and forced to leave their homes immediately after the mortgage contract expires. The police can do nothing because of highly influence power of the drug dealers. They normally have very closed connection with local politicians and some high-ranking and some local policemen. More often that seriously enforced police station chiefs were transferred following the order of high influential people in the area. Indeed, Pol Lt-Gen Komkrit Patpongpanich, chief of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau, admitted that the fight against drugs at Klong Toey failed because local police were involved [Bangkok Post, 15 August 1999]. 37 7. Social Safeguards 7.1 Traditional Influences and Indigenous Safeguards In the past, juveniles were controlled by their parents, teachers and religious teaching in the community like the 3 legs of a stool until they reached adulthood. Cultural changes have brought imbalance to this chair. Cultural changes following from the urbanization of a large city like Bangkok have brought changes to the children’s rearing system. Parents devote too little time for their children. What follow is that the young tend to follow actions of their friends more than they believe what parent taught. Besides, the problem of stresses in the urbanized society leads to more divorces. More and more children react negatively to the social norms by doing what people tell them not to do. The globalization has brought benefits to international trade and imported growth, but it can also bring social crisis from one place to another. In fact, the neo-cultural changes can be seen by style of dressing, the western style thinking among the youth. Many adopted fads have been imitating by the children in the fast expanding economy. As the conditions being, the western culture has its own charm, but the copying of western cultures must be adopted with prudent. The imported fashions among the youngsters are not limited to only their outer appearance, but the smoking fad and others. In the western countries, children under some specified age can not purchase cigarettes and are prohibited from alcohol. The entertaining places are closed at a specific time. The opposite is that children in Thailand can buy cigarettes any time, they can access to alcohol quite easy, and the night entertainment are frequently found close late than the specific time. Besides, the western youngster is taught to grow with oneself. They have to work to earn money for their study and to stand with their own legs. They must grow up with self-discipline. With different environments of rearing children, the adoption of the western-style cultures builds Thai children with confuse mixture; adopting everything calling fads but no teach of self-discipline and no guidance of what is good or bad. To keep children away from drugs, one can not strict with what we are calling them “bads”, but loose at what we are accepting them “goods”. 7.1.1 Family: The parent is the children’s great defense against drug abuse and acts as a strong pusher to get children to find treatment. Parent plays important roles not only in preventing their children from drug, but also serving as a strong motivator in bringing them around to treatment. A finding from the survey in part 2 demonstrates that family coercion accounts of 34% behind the decision of amphetamine dependents to attend the treatment centers in 1998 and the trend of this force is rather optimistic. 7.1.2 Teacher: Teacher, a long-time indigenous safeguard against drugs, has loosened its venerable ground when some teachers themselves sell drug to their children. 38 With rush working and competitive living, teachers have no exception in this cultural change. They can’t resist the every move by their neighbors, money become more important than any other thing. When speed pill trade is very profitable, it is no doubt that even some teachers sell the drug to their students. Further, one may blame the politicians that put less emphasis to education. They ranked Ministry of Education as the second or third grade ministry. Schools at the fundamental level could only recruit at most medium quality new teachers. Majority of creamy students chose not to be teachers. The quality of teachers has weakened continuously. Money is widespread in admitting students into the colleges. The posts report more often to the news of teachers raping their own students. Ultimately, the teacher image has been aggravated by these actions of some immoral teachers or unethical persons. 7.1.3 Religious: Religious institutions served as a source of moral teaching to the community. They can be leaders of their community in fighting against drug traders, but the guard is weakened by the declining beliefs in religious teaching. To most of the Thais, the Buddhist temple is not only a religious institution, it is an all-purpose sanctuary for people when they need education, counseling, temporary shelter and even the mental cure. Some treatment centers for drug addiction even locate in the temple area. The benefit is not merely for convenient, but for mental purpose. The traditional belief for Buddhists to abstain from alcoholic beverages when entering the temple is still recognized and is expected to cover the abstention from other narcotics drugs as well. The role of religious is faded away from the youth group in recently however. The young children believe that the temples are the places for the elderly to go. 7.1.4 Education: The existing educational system is ineffective in guarding children from narcotic use. The general education system has failed to fight against the widespread of narcotics. The efficacy of education as an indigenous measure is loosened as it is confirmed by the increasing number of new drug dependents among the tenth grade students and higher in the past 5 years. A picture of a randomly selected student can compare the change, students violate more to the school rules and show less respect to their teachers. Education system now teaches only knowledge but does not encourage moral and self-esteem to them. Furthermore, a competing environment in the current education system has driven many to live with less sympathy. The winners can take all in the society. At the other end, those who can not adapt themselves to the competing environments become anxious persons and are likely to turn to drugs or to commit suicide. With this cripple society, many children grew up without self-discipline, many have no self-confidence, and the mature age is postponed. 7.1.5 School: School directors oppose the coordination with other parts of the community. The joint programs with several departments to fight against drugs can gain only temporary support from the school directors. Drug-free zone, sporting field, and 39 prevention campaigns are selectively and occasionally enforced. Urine-test measurement is applied to all students once a year and is named a successfully suppression of narcotics. The refusal of cooperation with nearby temple and community of school administrators is derived from the idea that they will loose the control over the power and budget of their empire. 7.1.6 Community: The fight of the community against drug sellers does not receive enough support. Some community leaders themselves are big traders. In a large city with more than 10 millions population like Bangkok, the common problem to its residents are the increasing crime rate, the rush and competing society, and isolated neighborhood. Many immigrants from the rural area to find jobs in the city led to rapid expansion of the city in the last 2 decades. In 1999, more than 1,000 communities are registered with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. With crowded people from unknown background, criminal awareness, and the surrounding stresses have contributed to the non-communal living. Each family in the community cares little to its neighbor matter. As a result, community leader and the neighbors, once used to be a safeguard against outside harm, are less effective in helping control narcotic problem in a community. It is not unusual that why the plague of drug addiction has infected to different groups very rapidly. The spreading out of amphetamine first migrated from specific groups such as daily workers and night-working people in slum communities to the new communities that emerge follow the expansion of the previous locations. For example, some governments in the past had tried to move communities like Klong Toey to other several areas, so the previous addicts brought narcotics to the new communities as well. The process of spreading went from the preexisting groups to the children in its playground, from one to his friends, and from community to schools nearby. Then, its span is not limited to only a single community. There are cross-community extensions as a result of the distribution network of drug by the sellers, the changing marketplaces to evade the police, the new supplying places when a heavy enforcement happens. A community leader can make a radical change by gathering their members to be an informal community policing when police officers are shortage or at the time of no hope in the local police. Some strong packed communities were successful in curbing the drug abuse. Nevertheless, some communities made even worse when the community leaders are big drug traders. Among other things, it is said that politicians both local and national level are dependent to the community leaders in collecting votes at the time of election. If the community leaders are involved with drugs, the politicians will be reluctant to make any action and the police will have to be idle. 7.2 New Indigenous Controls: The convention of some 200 from 1013 communities has been formulated in the last 2 years. Tools were created to curb the number of drug addicts. In some Muslim communities, strict rules are exercised to penalize drug addicts by isolating them from the communities. 40 New initiatives on drug prevention found on the community level. The heart of success is put on the bottom or operational level. The approach to combat drug abuse in the community must receive supports by the community members. The success will depend on the member feeling of community belonging. Under the new community control system, every plan must initiate by the community members during the weekly meeting. The system aims not to expect much to eliminate drug abuse completely, but to prevent new users to emerge. Weak communities are able to ask for support from peers in the successful communities. In the early days of the pilot communities, every move is done without help from the government. The new invention on drug preventing strategies by the community is divided into 6 stages. First, convince members in the community to support the activities from antidrug programs. Second, make the community immune from drug by setting up night security guards, launching drug use survey, and setting community rules. Third, plan for continuous programs. Pushers for new and systematic programs are regularly trained by academic supporters from the educational institutions. Fourth, coordinate with the police and balance each other effort. Fifth, cross checking among communities. Sixth, build antidrug network. Some communities adopt sanction measures to the drug addicts. Specifically to some religious communities, stronger religious rules are collectively reinforced to the members of the society. The drug addicts will be banned from important religious rituals. Another attempt emerges from the temple side. Some drug prevention initiatives are recently settled by some temples in the center of the communities in trying to attract more youth participation. The programs are initiated, managed, and implemented by the monks. The programs are expected to teach moral and isolate the homeless and problem children from drug experiment. Since people lack confidence in law enforcement officers, the effort of the private sector to defend themselves from drug abuse seems like the way out. Corruption at the police station has been acclaimed by the public for a long time. A survey conducted by Sompong Chitradub (1999) found that the role of police in solving drug problem makes the situation worse. Sixty-six point seven percent of the observations in his survey state that the police’s role towards the problem does not help or even make more of it. The mentioned measures include setting the check-point, arrest and release the accused, the sellers are on the loose, and the police inform the sellers in advance when police from the central unit will arrive [Chitradub, 1999]. Without confidence to the law enforcement officers, the effort of the private sector to defend themselves from drug abuse seems like the way out. An anti-drug initiative was settled through a radio station on the first of August 1999. Its main task is the action as the information center to collect drug information from the public. The function of the initiative is hoped to alert the police spirit and to seclude drug dealers from the communities. With helping from 3 major public hospitals, a 24-hour advice from hospital experts is readily accessible when the drug abusers need treatment information. The radio station is sponsored by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and gains supports by some community leaders. Leaders from several areas both become members and report the drug-trading events in the community to the station. Half of the 5,000 members are actively participating during the first 3 months of the operation. Every record from the listeners’ voice will be distributed to seven governmental drug suppression agencies. The control after drug information was 41 disseminated has been performed by the senders. They will wait for the raid from the police in the indicated area and reenter the messages for the results to the station. A very effort has sent to obstruct the will of the anti-drug medium. Several telephone calls were for threatening the safety of the radio administration. Some fraud calls were sent by the drug gangs to make skeptic to the credit of other messages. To investigators, they disbelief in this stand for fear that the opponents will be alerted before the police officers get enough evidence to grab them. The radio supporters argue, however, that they have no choice because they do not trust the police after several claims were conveyed to the police stations. Another argument falls into the structure of the local district authorities. The success of the radio station is dependent on serious attention from local public authorities. Current supports from any relevant parties such as the police, the governor, and the head of municipals are reluctantly provided. Unless the ruling power is restructured, the decisions will be made by topping-down authorities who have little understanding of the problem. A well-planned measure to combat drug abuse will face with inflexibility from the bureaucratic system and inevitably fail soon after its implementation. The main impediment is that the community members are not so collective to win the policy direction. The hope is expected only after the realignment of the new decentralized structure of the local authority is done successfully. The stronger community is expected to follow the decentralized power and the anti-drug measures will be pushed wholeheartedly from every part of it. 8. Responses to Legal Controls The underlying reasons to unsatisfactory responses of drug users on legal controls are numerous. Sensibly understandable, drug traders on various levels have their rationales to react those ways. 8.1 Drug Dealers: Dealers of the mad pills bribe the police on a monthly basis for doing this business. The in-depth interviews with the drug sellers reveal the truth that they sometimes saw the big dealers they purchased drug with receive drugs from the police. The connection with the police makes them free from arrestment. Checking with the seizure statistics from the police department, there was no report of the seizure of big traders of amphetamine. Only small retailers and drug buyers were arrested. The drug dealers realize that they have been partnership with the enforcement officers so that they react fearlessly to the strong penalty of the legal controls. 8.2 Drug Retailers: Drug offenders respond neutrally to the law enforcer’s activities. The police have to use amphetamine as bait for the arrest of drug dealers. They will hide some of the drug seized from arrests. By making a deal with drug offenders to report only a small amount of the drug seized to lessen the penalty on drug use, the enforcement officers can have the pills to be used as bait. Both can benefit through this arrangement. The alleviation of the charge from drug seller to drug user is very 42 common. Consequently, drug offenders expect only mild penalties and react negatively to legal controls. Under the presently limited conditions, namely, strong enforcement to only buyers and small sellers, but relax enforcement to big dealers, the virtue of the law has weakened. Further, some police officers involve in drug selling. The data from the radio station which handles the illegal drug issue specified that all police districts in Bangkok area that were reported were accused for some police officers taking part in drug selling in a variety of patterns. Among several, most frequent reports were that the police officers themselves are drug distributors, insider informers to drug traders, and inaction to the announcers.18 Besides, some policemen arrested drug buyers and made a deal with them to become their channels of selling drug before getting released from the police station, otherwise, they would be fully or even overly charged for a drug dealer. For them, the amount of confiscated drugs would be partially reported to make the charge lessen, and be returned to the market via these channels. Consequently, the drug dealers do not fear of penalty from drug selling.19 8.3 Drug Abusers: Under the current narcotic control law, children under 18 years of age face light penalties in the court and will not be sent to prisons. They can get out soon after their arrest. Often, the parent is called to the police station and bribes the police to bring their children back home. Therefore it makes sense that young people get involved with drug abuse even though they know about the penalty. 9. Social Cost of Drugs We encounter the difficulty in collecting cost statistics on the imprisonment of drug offenders and on the major public hospitals. The collection of data from private hospital and some famous non-governmental treatment centers is more difficult. They rejected our data request to protect their client secrecy. Statistics on the cost of imprisonment of drug offenders from the Correction Department can be traced only two years backward because no record was kept in the department in prior years. Several pieces of information such as the treatment budget are only rough estimation because the ways of report were done in total sum. The data from the Ministry of Public Health on the details of allocating costs for treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents are also prepared in similar fashion, making it indistinguishable from many other diseases. The clues database of the radio station FM 99.5 MHz, “Women Wave Saves Metro” started gathering data since August 1999. From October to December 1999, there are 76 out of 87 police stations in Bangkok are contaminated with the drug-involving policemen. 19 The story of a young boy caught by a police was reported in the Nation on 22 August 1999. The boy said that he carried 200 tablets of speed pills when he was caught by the police, but the police only charged him with the possession of 30 tablets because they wanted to use the rest as baits. The 15-year old boy is one of the ya-ma dealers in a temple school in a remote part of Bangkok. After 3-year experiencing with drugs, he was caught by a police, prosecuted for the possession of 30 tablets of amphetamines, and expelled from school. He has been released on bail and his case is during investigation. 18 43 9.1 Treatment and Rehabilitation The annual costs of treatment and rehabilitation of drug users in Bangkok are estimated based on the unit cost of some representative treatment centers. Thanyarak Hospital is selected to be the representative for public hospital because it is a special hospital for drug dependents so that the calculation of the unit cost of treatment is made possible. In addition, drug clients in Thanyarak Hospital represent so much as 72% of total drug dependents in public hospitals in 1994 and remain significant share in later years. The estimate is about 8,200 baht per person in 1998. The calculated annual costs are allocated so that they can represent those in the Bangkok Metropolis only. The unit cost for public health centers provided by the health department, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is the annual budget for treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents divided by the total number of clients in that year. It costs 830 baht per client in 1998. The New Life Project is a rehabilitation center operated by the Duang Prateep Foundation, whose expenditures are raised by donations, foreign funds, and in part from government subsidy. It provides treatment for young drug addicts who cite in Bangkok and vicinity by the “natural cure approach” in Chumporn and Karnchanaburi province. The cost per person is 45,500 baht per year in 1998. Applying the unit cost of Thanyarak hospital to that of private hospitals and assuming that the unit cost of patients in the private clinics is indifferent to that of a public health center, the estimates of annual cost of treatment and rehabilitation in Bangkok Metropolitan area ranged from baht 66.9 million in 1995 to baht 108.8 million in 1998. 9.2 Imprisonment of Drug Offenders Only 2 years of cost statistics for prisoners are recorded systematically in the Correction department. The 1998 cost data showed some 100 million baht devoted to the imprisonment of drug offenders. Its expenditure was slightly more than the yearly cost of treatment and rehabilitation for patients in Bangkok Metropolis. Major spending was mostly allocated to the administrative work although initiative programs called “community-based approach” were formulated. Figure 2.10: Public Spending on Drug Controls in Bangkok, 1998 2% Prevention 51% 47% Treatment and Rehabilitation Correction 44 The public spending on drug for Bangkok area is divided into 3 categories. Most were spent on corrective facilities while prevention programs comprised only 2% of drug controlling costs. (Figure 2.10) The suppression budget is excluded from the figure because the measurement of suppression budget on the city level is impracticable. 10. Drug Policy 10.1 Drug Prevention Policy The focus on the drug prevention policy has received serious attention since the Office of the Prime Minister’s order of 141/2541 was put into effect in 1998: “In order to control the problem and reduce the widespread of narcotics drugs, cooperation and unity from every sector of the society are required. The communities and educational institutes are to accumulate pressure against narcotic drugs related to misbehaviors. The addicts are to be treated as patients, while collaborative operations are to destroy the narcotic drugs production networks, trafficking and intercept drug smuggling into the country. 20 The drug prevention budgets from either the Office of Narcotic Control Board or the Ministry of Interior are spent at the national level and no specific campaign for the Bangkok area. A high level officer at the ONCB admitted that the youth anti-drug media campaigns are actually aimed to prevent no more new youth entering in the narcotic cycle. The prevention campaigns for Bangkok Metropolitan area are made possible recently by the BMA, but the budget is only a tiny share and allocated irregularly comparing to the total expenditure. Major preventive activities and projects can be categorized into 4 groups; youth anti-drug campaigns, drug-free zone or community-based approach, extensive advertisements, and sports against drugs. In 1998, the work on drug prevention in the government policy presented to the congress can be summarized as follows [Sumyai, 2000]: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Coordination to create complete circle of drug prevention work among youth groups both in-school and out-of-school youth, community and workplace group. Campaigning realization on drug problem, drug knowledge and danger of drug to every target groups by continuing using every media. Coordinating and monitoring sport ground anti-drug project by using clear strategy and long-term plan. Closely coordinating with government, non-government and people organization who work in treatment and rehabilitation, on treatment work and data collection. Supporting setting up treatment centers and following up the work of the centers according to the Narcotics Addict Rehabilitation Act B.E.2534 (1991) Significant preventive actions that followed the government policy above can be categorized into 4 areas. First, bring forward the movie stars or famous singers as a prototype for youngsters not to involve with drugs and extensive public advertisement against drugs. The outstanding movie and TV stars and singers with good behavior will be awarded every year. See “Narcotic Drugs Prevention and Suppression Policy,” Office of the Prime Minister’s Order No. 141/B.E.2541 (1998), (http://www.oncb.go.th) 20 45 Second, establish community network on drug control. The program was designed to create awareness of the community to oppose drug abuse and had encouraged communities to create drug-free zone. Third, joint cooperation with many agencies on various projects targeting to the youth group. For instance, the Teacher Training Course on Counseling Techniques Project aims to screen drug addicts among the children and send them for treatment. The White School Project which requires coordination between schools and communities emphasizes on the free from drugs among the youth in schools. Fourth, provide sport playgrounds to encourage youths to stay away from drugs. The anti-drug messages include publications, pamphlets, posters, exhibition kits, cutouts, advertisements, radio and TV materials. They comprise mostly information on the lethal image of narcotics drugs. The messages can not discourage the abuse of drugs because they do not reveal the actual view of each drug, which are the root causes behind the use of it, to the public. A summary view of the prevention policies from relevant authorities has been made in the study of Chitradub (1999). The government policies on drug prevention programs were done intermittently without coordination and were emphasis on the campaign for giving knowledge, the production of the media for academic seminar, and the arrests of small offenders. Initiatives to establish the community network on drug control are numerous. The police department has issued the new order to all local police stations in Bangkok to cooperate with the community. Meanwhile, a policy toward close relationship between law enforcement agencies, teachers and students’ parent is set up. One approach was tried by the project encouraging cooperation between schools and law enforcement officers. Each of 117 public secondary schools and 23 vocational training schools will form a committee against drug abuse in its school. The committee comprises parents, teachers, officers from drug rehabilitation centers, and law enforcement officers. The 10-man committee is expected to complete drug education courses arranged for all school administrative and teaching staff. Staff will be educated different approaches to the drug problem, applicable to each of five groups of students: drugs-free, beginners, addicts, students who had undergone therapy, and dealers. Some locations were selected by the police to allow volunteers to go on patrols in the community and search suspected vehicles at police checkpoints in the area on Saturdays. The community participation is said to be satisfactory in helping the police curb the drug problem in their community. On the surface, the practices are going on the right direction and the supporting tasks are discerned. The order requires at least one law enforcement officer to regularly join the meeting with community leaders, school teachers, and parent representatives.21 Unfortunately however, the coordination is given with reluctant from the police side because there is not enough manpower to implement the order. A top-level officer in charged with crime suppression in the city admitted that he disagrees with the policy to See “The action plan to deal with narcotics in schools of the police officers,” (htttp://www.inet.co.th/org/nsb/c3.htm.) 21 46 simultaneously require every station to set up such a meeting. The operation could be done only step by step, from stations that are already avail with the enough persons and expand it later. The main obstacle to this policy is the shortage of the workforce even to handle the existing day-to-day operation. The projects that require coordination among government agencies became slowly progressive. Many divisions involve in drug prevention policies without coordination. The annual preparation of budget has been done separately by each department. Little cooperation is performed among divisions of police enforcement, between the police department and the correction department, between the treatment authorities and the police ranging from operation officers to the high-level rankings. Several anti-drug campaigns have failed after the implementation. An example is the drug war program initiated by the Ministry of Education. Many school administrations and teachers exaggerated the drug abuse situation at their schools in order to get additional funding for anti-drug activities. Conversely, some schools were reluctant to reveal the true number of student addicts in their schools for fearing that their image would be ruined and the school administrators’ advancement will not be considered for the year’s promotion season. It is a fact that at one time the policy from the Ministry of Education rewarded drug-free schools as successful in combating with drug abuse. As a consequence, many schools concealed their true number of drug addicts and reports no students in their school involve with any kind of drug. One measure that is designed and is applied universally to fight against drugs is to provide sporting area near the communities for the youth. The policy did generate the problem as well. The provided fields, in turn, are not only unsuccessful in reducing the spreading of drug abuse, but also become the meeting points for drug buy and sell, and consumption. 10.2 Treatment and Rehabilitation The notion of treatment and rehabilitation policy is intended to assist clients to “re-enter” society with the assistance of family cushion. It provides basic principles such as self-esteem and confidence back to the addicts [NCSWT, 1994]. Current drug treatment measures are classified into 3 systems. First, voluntary system that allows drug addicts to freely choose any treatment center from both public and private sector. Secondly, correctional system that enforces drug addicts who found guilty with drug charges and imprisoned to enter the treatment process. Lastly, the compulsory system under the Drug Addict Rehabilitation Act 1991 that permits the conduct of urine test to the suspect in drug abuse and delivers the drug addict to take a treatment program. Under the voluntary system, drug addicts from Bangkok choose to enter one of five types of treatment and rehabilitation centers: the BMA health centers, private clinics, private hospitals, public hospitals, and non-profit organizations where provide the facilities. The number of treatment service centers in Bangkok reported to the Treatment Division, Office of the Narcotics Control Board in 1998 was 45 centers, but the treatment was mostly administered by the detoxification approach. Treatment based on the rehabilitation approach was not common and is still far from sufficient for the number of drug addicts. 47 The BMA Health Centers: The health centers only provide the treatment process for their clients and are located in the communities. Clients to these facilities are mostly heroin users. A small space limits the facility to offer full process of the treatment. The solution from Klong Toey slum is that the community set up areas for the drug addicts in the rehabilitation process. Private Hospitals: Children from the well-to-do families are normally sent to private hospitals because they keep every client record in secret. A large number of people are sensitive to the disclosure of drug addiction of their children to the society. The clients in these hospitals are both heroin and amphetamine users. Private Clinics: Clinics serve as alternative resources of drug when users can not find heroin. Most clinics are in the ruinous conditions. Some clinics install the steel bar on the door to prevent the robbery of drug. Public Hospitals: The most famous public hospital offering treatment for drug addicts is Thanyarak Hospital. The hospital locates in Pratum Thani province, about 30 kilometers from Bangkok. It provides all the 4 stage of treatment: Pre-admission, detoxification, rehabilitation, and aftercare. The total length of stay in the program is 1 year and 8 months. Unlike Thanyarak hospital, other public hospitals treat drug clients differently. The mode of treatment is poorly understood by many clinicians. One hospital mixes drug clients with the mental-disordered clients. Heroin users and young amphetamine abusers are treated indifferently. A 14-year old boy told that he was experiencing amphetamine for less than 2-3 months before his parent caught up and sent him there. He has to spend his life in the hospital with other heavy heroin addicts for a year long. A mistaken belief of universal treatment to all drug abusers happens at the center of Bangkok. In reverse, the young experimenters may develop themselves to multiple drug users from the more experience peers. The mistakes in the process are primarily due to the stigma associated with psychotropic therapies. Most treatment units are well practiced only the use of pharmacotherapies, like methadone, to treat opiate addiction in the detoxification process. However, behavioral therapies will remain the principal treatment approach to most dependence problems. NGOs: Most non-government organizations providing the treatment and rehabilitation facilities focus on the rehabilitation process. Some take the clients to the rural area, using the natural environment as medicine to cure the mental problems of the clients. The clients are taught self-discipline and vocational training programs. Unfortunately, only a couple facilities emerge. The Treatment Process The current treatment of drug addicts is carried out in four stages as follows: a. Pre-admission Stage 48 This stage prepares patients to agree upon conditions of treatment on the full process. Drug addicts must be willing and accepting all conditions before commencement of treatment. The patient’s personal background, family history, socialization, personality structure and psychological development are collected. This phase lasts seven days. b. Detoxification Methadone is used for heroin detoxification treatment. At this stage, the patient is given a physical examination and intake interview. The patient’s social background, drug use, and treatment history are evaluated in order to determine the heroin usage. The mental rehabilitation by psychotherapy such as group therapy, group discussion, and family therapy are accompanying. This stage contains at most 45 days. c. Rehabilitation The patient is aimed to improve body strength, adapt the attitudes, and implant vocational skills to find employment. The process takes 180 days. d. Aftercare This stage is regarded as a continuation of the rehabilitation process within the community after the patient is released from the treatment center. The activities include home visits, scheduled meetings, and postcard or mail questionnaire. Aftercare has a duration of one year. The national policy on treatment and rehabilitation is difficult to apply in the reality. The Prime Minister’s Office issued Order No.141/B.E.2541, a measure to encourage addicts to get away from drugs trade and seek rehabilitation in 1997. According to the order, drug addicts who register for treatment are classified as patients and with hope that a larger number of drug users will seek a cure. This policy expects the drug addicts to cut off dependency and return to society. The policy purports the treatment and rehabilitation to be available appropriately and suitably to the patients. It is undoubtedly inapplicable when comparing the existing hospital beds capacity with the current abusers. Only one public and only a couple treatment centers with a capacity of 3,000 patients a year is equipped with full process of treatment and rehabilitation. Furthermore, the Narcotics Addict Rehabilitation Act B.E. 2534 (1991) obliges drug abusers to undergo the whole course of a treatment program. Under this act, the offenders charged with drug consumption or possession will be identified whether or not he or she is a drug addict. If the offender is found to be a drug addict, he or she must stay in a rehabilitation center for a period of 6 months to 3 years [NCSWT, 1994]. The mandatory treatment will not reduce the relapsing rates because the underlying causes of addiction are not yet removed. Convincingly enough, the national treatment policy was not aware of the possibility of the corrective facilities to handle the problem and hence is far from success. 10.3 The Correction Policy 49 The Correction Department: Drug-related offenders in Bangkok will be sent to one 1 of 5 prisons classified by the length of sentences and gender. The central policy requires all narcotic abusers take the community-based healing programs provided by the prisons. Drug abusers under 18 years old will be sent to non-prison corrective facilities and have to enter the treatment centers before returning to the society. Policy makers are confusing with legal measurement to declare war on drug. Several practices have been made to lessen clear directions to fight against crime. One proposal on the best method for executing convicts between lethal injection and firing by the Correction Department has shown the contrasting policies with the nation agenda. Another manner is to redeem the death penalty to most prisoners in special occasions to show the sympathy of the royal comes to support the conflict. The fact that the narcotic traders are exempted from the sympathy whereas the narcotic abusers are included can work as a stronger incentive for drug traders to better coordinate with the police in turning themselves into drug users when they get caught. In normal practice, the department sets up a standard in ranking the prisoners into six differing types according to prisoner conduct during the imprisonment. The mechanism to reward good-conduct prisoners automatically and equally applies by reducing the length of their stay in prison. The system could discourage the law compliance among many. 50 Part II. The Illicit Drug Market Survey: A. Sampling Framework The probability sample survey can not be adopted in this survey because the sampling frame from the total population is not feasible. The largest group of drug dependents systematically recorded is the treatment client group, but normally the group of heroin dependents takes the services while other more significant drug addicts such as amphetamine and marijuana addicts rarely do so. Recently however, some drug addicts have continuously been sent by the order of the court to full-cycle treatment centers for treatment after arrestment. A number of amphetamine dependents have consistently shown in the hospital statistics in the last couple years. Under this situation, to receive enough samples distributed to all kinds of drug use, the most possible research methodology is to set the sampling frame as judgmental sampling. Following this type of sampling, more extensive samples are selected from the treatment centers with the full 4-stages of treatment cycle and thus are considered to be most representative of the population as a whole. In the treatment population statistics, the distribution of treatment clients does not represent the true pattern of the total population. More samples are selected from the public hospitals and private organizations to gather enough clients who are amphetamine addicted. Less are taken from the private clinical centers because only heroin data will be obtained from there. Some biases in this survey are generated. First, the survey may represent more of the poor than the rich. Most of the rich take treatment at private hospitals, but the hospitals refuse any cooperation on interviews from their clients. Second, as the selection of the sampling units from listed treatment centers is limited by the availability of drug addicts in the centers, too small number of drug dependents makes the sampling not feasible. As a result, the sample treatment centers have to be specific to only large enough centers, leading to bias toward the large treatment centers. However, the assumption that the samples taken from large or small centers are indifferent makes effects of the bias small. The total observations of 177 cases were selected from 8 treatment centers where we can obtain the cases from Bangkok. The result of sampling frame described above is shown as follow: 10 cases, or 5.6%, are chosen from private clinics, 36 cases, or 20.3%, are drawn from non-governmental treatment and rehabilitation facilities, and 131 cases, or 74.0%, come from public hospitals. Type Private Clinics NGOs Public Hospitals Treatment Center Taveesak Clinic Dr. Pichit Clinic Wang Tong Lang Clinic Duang Prateep Foundation Communita Incontro, Pratum Thani Taksin Hospital Phra Mongkutklao Hospital Thanyarak Hospital Sample Size 2 4 4 22 14 31 26 74 51 B. Survey Methodology The survey was carried out by asking the drug dependence treatment clients at the selected centers during October 7 – November 3, 1999 to answer the questions on drug purchase and pattern of drug use, their personal data, and attitudes toward drugs. Then, the questionnaires were filled out by our interviewers. A careful gathering of relevant information were handled by 4 research assistants and reconfirmation of data was done by further interviews if it was needed. A total of 177 cases, 167 males and 10 females, were obtained. Amphetamine users constitute 108 cases, or 61.0%, whilst heroin users recorded 97 cases, or 54.8%. The results from the sampling technique show that the observations are distributed vastly to the majority of Bangkok’s official local jurisdictions. Thirty-four districts out of the total forty-five local districts, or 75%, have some representatives in the sampling. The 3 most frequent response districts are Klong Toei, Bang Kho Laem, and Phayathai respectively. The resulting distribution also shares the same characteristics to the city police’s seizure data in the month of October of 1999. For the estimation of income, price, and cross-price elasticity, we separate the data into two sets: heroin users and amphetamine users. There are 75 cases of amphetamine users and 60 cases of heroin users with complete data on current price, amount of consumption of drug per day, their income per day, and other relevant information, however. Therefore, except for the calculation of elasticities, which 75 cases for amphetamine and 60 cases for heroin are available, we have the total sample size of 177 cases, 108 cases for amphetamine users, and 97 cases for heroin users. Additionally, 36 of 177 cases are acquainted with both amphetamine and heroin, which were counted both to amphetamine and heroin users. In addition to the 177 cases obtained from the questionnaires, in-depth interview was also carried out on 13 cases: 3 heroin users, 8 amphetamine retailers, and 2 amphetamine users at the Klong Prem prison, Communita Introtro at Phatum Thani, and the New Life Project under the Duang Prateep Foundation at Lamae, Chumporn. 52 C. Results from the survey Table 1: The Characteristics of the Sample 1.1 Sex, Level of Highest Education, Age and Occupation Sex Education Age N = 177 N = 177 N = 177 Male 94.4% Primary School 14.7% 14-17 years 19.2% Female 5.6% Secondary School 33.9% 18-20 years 24.9% High School 15.3% 21-25 years 28.8% Vocational School 30.5% 26-30 years 10.2% Bachelor Degree 5.6% 31-40 years 14.1% GT 40 years 2.8% Occupation N = 177 1. Students 30.5% 2. Unemployed 36.2% 3. Office Workers 2.3% 4. Service 4.0% 5. Wage Labor 5.1% 6. Work for 4.0% Government 7. Self-employed 10.7% 8. Illegal Work 4.0% 9. Others 1.1% 10. No Response 2.1% 1.2 Relationship Between Wealth and Lack of Warmth Class of Family Type of Drug Use N = 177 Overall (N = 177) Heroin 29.4% Wealthy (>50,000 baht /month) 15.3% Amphetamine 31.6% Good (30,001-50,000 baht/month) 12.4% Marijuana 0.6% Average (10,001-30,000 baht/month) 45.8% Inhalants 4.0% Poor (<10,000 baht/month) 22.0% Heroin & Marijuana 5.1% Heroin & Amphetamine 9.6% Warmth Family (N = 71) Marijuana & Amphetamine 4.5% Wealthy (>50,000 baht /month) 12.7% Amphetamine & Inhalants 2.3% Good (30,001-50,000 baht/month) 16.9% Marijuana, Amphetamine & Inhalants 2.3% Average (10,001-30,000 baht/month) 49.3% Heroin, Marijuana & Amphetamine 7.9% Poor (<10,000 baht/month) 21.1% All of the Four Drugs 2.8% More than 90 percent of drug users are male and only a small share are female users. Roughly 70 percent of the sample are students, unemployed, or working illegally. Most of the drug dependents in the sample fall between average to poor family. Table 2: Availability of Drugs in the Market Level of Availability Heroin N = 106 Widely Available 37.7% Moderately Available 32.1% Low Available 30.2% Marijuana N = 64 60.9% 31.3% 7.8% Amphetamine N = 123 89.4% 9.8% 0.8% Although the police officers try to seize the supply of amphetamine in the market, the bought and sold of amphetamine is prevalence. The 89.4% of respondents in the survey informed that amphetamine was an easy-to-buy drug. Such a highly available amphetamine can guarantee no shortage of the drug to its users. Marijuana is the second most prevalence drug in the street. Lastly, heroin is still available among specific groups of drug addicts. 53 Table 3: Examination of Controlling Measures 3.1: Acknowledgement of Bad Consequences and Penalty From Drug Use Question Response (N = 177) Yes Before you first experimented drug, do you know the effect of drug to 75.1% your health? Do you know the legal penalty from drug use? 94.4% Do you understand and pay attention to the bad consequences from 68.4% drug use? No 24.9% 5.6% 31.1% Most drug abusers realize the adverse consequences and legal penalty from drug use. But, they do care little about it. Two main reasons for their disregarding of unhealthy consequences from using drug are pervasive of drug use among friends, and heavy drug trade in the community surroundings. 3.2: Ways to Learn About Drugs Source Mass Media Schools Friends Family Public Agencies 3.3: Ways to Know the Penalty Source Mass Media Schools Friends Family Police/Jail Public Agencies Rank (N = 177) 1 23.2% 22.6% 19.8% 5.1% 0.6% 2 13.6% 15.3% 10.2% 7.9% 2.3% 3 10.7% 6.8% 4.5% 7.9% 5.1% Rank (N = 177) 1 26.0% 22.6% 15.8% 7.9% 14.1% 4.5% 2 16.9% 15.3% 8.5% 12.4% 4.0% 6.2% 3 10.7% 6.8% 8.5% 7.3% 0.0% 8.5% Most effective ways to send drug information messages are mass media, schools, and friends. Governmental media are ineffective in communicating with people. Among several means of learning about drugs, the 3 most effective channels from which drug users are able to get drug information are media, schools, and friends consecutively. Similarly, the same channels also provide knowledge about the penalty from involving with narcotics. Family and government agencies, however, incorporate very little role in providing drug information to the drug participants. An evident can justify the effectiveness of the drug prevention programs no matter how the drug users obtained information. Very high percentage of drug users from the survey, 94.4%, responded that they had heard of the legal penalty from drug use, but 18.1% of whom actually knew the legal penalty from drug use after they got caught by the police and had been sent to jail. Furthermore, the drug information campaigns by several government agencies that provided information to sensitive groups in the past was ranked 5 or 6 by the drug users in respect of frequency of hearing about drug. 54 3.4: Response to the Legal Penalty From Drug Use Question After you know the penalty from drug use, are you trying to quit using drug? 3.5: Effort of the Police Enforcement Question During the past year, how do the police officers put effort in controlling drugs? 3.6: Response to the Police Enforcement Type of Drug Heroin (N = 97) Amphetamine (N = 108) 3.7: Age and Irrational Reaction Consume More Unchanged N = 26 N = 58 14-17 years 50.0% 14-17 years 18-20 years 23.1% 18-20 years 21-25 years 19.2% 21-25 years 26-30 years 3.8% 26-30 years 31-40 years 3.8% 31-40 years GT 40 years 0.0% GT 40 years 15.5% 36.2% 24.1% 10.3% 10.3% 3.4% Response (N = 177) More 81.4% Response Consume More 7.2% 23.1% Response (N = 177) Yes 50.3% No 48.0% Unchanged 17.5% Less 1.1% Unchanged Consume Less 28.9% 34.3% 63.9% 42.6% Consume Less N = 92 14-17 years 12.0% 18-20 years 18.5% 21-25 years 34.8% 26-30 years 12.0% 31-40 years 19.6% GT 40 years 3.3% Three main reasons for ignoring legal penalty derive from taking part in drug business of some local enforcement officers, the poverty, and irrational offense to the rules and regulations among adolescents. The drug controlling from the police department has shown ineffective. Eighty one point four percent of drug users report that the police put more efforts in enforcement, but only 52.3% duly responds by consuming less. Moreover, even though they knew the legal penalty from drug use even from the police, almost half of the samples continue consuming it. A peculiar pattern can be seen from the responses of the drug users about the effect of legal controls, as high as 39.4% of drug users whose age is below 18 tries to resist the act of the police by consuming more narcotics. The pattern is much stronger for amphetamine users than for heroin users. Table 4: Image of Each Drug 4.1: Which drug has the most effect to your health? Drug Amphetamine Users (N = 108) Heroin 75.0% Amphetamine 13.0% Marijuana 1.9% Inhalants 9.3% Heroin Users (N = 97) 67.0% 17.5% 0.0% 13.4% 55 4.2: Which drug is the easiest one to addict? Drug Amphetamine Users (N = 108) Heroin 50.9% Amphetamine 28.7% Marijuana 3.7% Inhalants 7.4% Cigarettes 4.6% Heroin Users (N = 97) 74.2% 8.2% 2.1% 2.1% 6.2% Amphetamine users do not view amphetamine as harmful as heroin. More than 70 percent believes that amphetamine is not easily addicted. Many abusers do not believe they are addicted to it. Amphetamine users view amphetamine as less harmful than heroin, but only half of them views heroin an easiest drug to addict. The result shows that amphetamine users only acknowledge that heroin is a bad thing, but do not really know about it. The danger is that amphetamine users perceive heroin as harm, but they do not seriously believe that heroin is easily addicted unless they do try it. More interestingly, only 28.7% of amphetamine users think that amphetamine is the easiest addicted drug whereas 74.2% of heroin users think heroin is the easiest one. The result convinces us to believe that most amphetamine users do not think they are addicted to amphetamine. An in-depth interview with retail sellers of amphetamine in prison confirms the previously mentioned point. They revealed their perception of amphetamines that they were initially amphetamine users and later found ways to afford drug purchase by becoming sellers themselves. They did not believe the drugs were addictive since they felt no physical addiction. Only if the drugs were sometimes amalgamated with some other dangerous substances did cause health hazard. Anyhow, they did believe they could stop it anytime. Another interview with clients having rehabilitating in the New Life Project, a treatment and rehabilitation center in Chumporn, reveals that the use of drugs is merely a fad. They think drugs help them have more fun. They can make them happy, enthusiastic, and able to ride motorcycles with their friends all night long. 4.3: Reasons to Use Drugs Purpose Heroin Users Use Heroin Stress Relieve Longer Work Group Belonging Courage Fun/In Fashion (N = 97) 77.3% 2.1% 1.0% 4.1% 4.1% Use Amphetamine (N = 36) 22.2% 52.8% 8.3% 2.8% 0.0% Amphetamine Users Use Heroin Use Amphetamine (N = 36) (N = 108) 77.8% 30.6% 0.0% 38.0% 0.0% 7.4% 5.6% 6.5% 5.6% 7.4% Drug abusers take heroin for relieving their stress, but use amphetamine for more various purposes including the “in” thing. Most heroin users from the survey take heroin for stress alleviation, 77.3%. In contrast, the main purposes of using amphetamine for longer work, stress relief, group belonging, for fun and courage are 38.0%, 30.6%, 7.4%, 7.4% and 6.5% respectively. Moreover, 52.8% of heroin users who experience with amphetamine use it to lengthen their working hours while only 38.0% of amphetamine users take amphetamine for the same reason. Thus, it is logical enough to say that the reasons behind the use of each 56 narcotic in recent years are different. Heroin users, on one hand, uses drug to relieve their tension, on the other hand, amphetamine users take drug for various reasons including recreation purposes. Table 5: Incentives of Drug Use 5.1: Percentage of the samples who indicate their high to highest effect to the factor Stimulants Heroin Users Amphetamine Users (N = 97) (N = 108) Felt Ignored by Parent 25.8% 25.9% Unemployment 36.1% 34.3% Drug Messages From Media 18.5% 21.3% Persuasion by Friends 57.7% 63.9% Cigarettes 61.9% 62.0% Night Entertainment 33.0% 34.3% The strong influential factors leading to drug experiment are friends and cigarettes. Unemployment, night entertainment, family problem, and drug messages channeled through mass media can somehow motivate people to use drugs. In the survey we asked the samples to indicate several stimulants that affected their decision to take drug at the first time. For each question, 5 choices were given for them to select: no effect, little effect, moderate effect, high effect, and very high effect. Some noteworthy results are that relatively high influences for experimenting drugs are friends, cigarettes, and being unemployed. A significant finding that should be mentioned here is that drug publicity by media has an adverse effect. It could stimulate somebody to experiment drugs. The field data from Chitradub (1999) also confirm this point. A young seller in his survey accepts that one reason behind the use of amphetamine for his group is because it is fashion if they can do like what they see in TV commercials. Table 6: Substitutes and Complements 6.1: Substitution of Heroin and Amphetamine Substituted by Heroin (N = 97) No Substitute 35.1% Cigarette 0.0% Sleeping pills 5.2% Heroin Amphetamine 32.0% Marijuana 3.1% Inhalants 0.0% Alcohol 1.0% Methadone 16.5% Opium 5.2% Amphetamine (N = 108) 46.3% 12.0% 3.7% 3.7% 9.3% 4.6% 6.5% 0.0% 0.0% Substitutes for Heroin: The most accessible substitute for heroin at present is amphetamine. The study also found some other substitutes like methadone, opium and sleeping pills. The best substitute for heroin is amphetamine. Alternative sources in case that heroin is not available include methadone, opium and sleeping pills. This could be attributable to the prevalence of amphetamine in the market. Also, amphetamine is more preferable to methadone because the latter must be obtained from the licensed clinical centers only. 57 Substitutes for Amphetamine: No major substitute for amphetamine is reported. The explanation lays on the so wide availability of it. Amphetamine users can alternatively switch to tobacco or marijuana, but this is not true for heroin. Some even use inhalants or alcohol as substitutes. Almost half of amphetamine users report no substitute for amphetamine. One may read from this result that amphetamine makes people addicted. But, the interpretation of this result may be misleading. Because no one ever experiences shortage of amphetamine, there is no need to find any substitute. Cigarette and marijuana but heroin play an important role as substitutes for amphetamine. A point of concern is that some may even take inhalants or alcoholic beverage as substitutes for amphetamine. The findings make clear to the border of heroin and amphetamine, but make less distinct of the border of amphetamine and other familiar substances like cigarette, inhalants, and alcoholic beverages. 6.2: Complementary of Heroin and Amphetamine Pattern of Use Heroin (N = 97) Use Alone 46.4% Use with Heroin Use with Marijuana 19.6% Use with Amphetamine 12.4% Use with Cigarette 9.3% Use with Sleeping Pills 11.3% Amphetamine (N = 108) 65.7% 9.3% 0.9% 20.4% 0% Complements with Heroin: More alternated use of heroin is reported. Less than half use only one drug. The second drug can be marijuana, amphetamine, sleeping pills, and cigarettes. Complements with Amphetamine: Most amphetamine abusers use only one drug. One-fifth uses it with cigarette. Table 7: Participation of Drug Trade 7.1: Drug User, Drug Seller, Age and Type of Drug Form of Participation Drug User User & Seller N = 177 N = 116 N = 61 - Drug Engagement 14-17 years 12.9% 14-17 years 31.1% User 65.5% 18-20 years 18.1% 18-20 years 37.7% User & Seller 34.5% 21-25 years 37.9% 21-25 years 11.5% 26-30 years 10.3% 26-30 years 9.8% - Sources of Income 31-40 years 18.1% 31-40 years 6.6% Parents 31.6% GT 40 years 2.6% GT 40 years 3.3% Relatives & 6.9% Friends Work 23.2% Work &Parents 10.7% Illegal Jobs 27.7% Type of Drug Heroin (N = 97) - User 72.2% - User & Seller 27.8% Amphetamine (N = 108) - User 53.7% - User & Seller 46.3% 58 7.2: The Length of Time to Become Drug Seller or Other Illegal Jobs Time To Become The Length of Time to Age of Drug Seller Begin Illegal Jobs Illegal Operators N = 61 N = 49 N = 49 LT 1 year 3.3% LT 1 year 6.1% 14-17 years 34.7% 1-3 years 42.6% 1-3 years 42.9% 18-20 years 34.7% 3-5 years 27.9% 3-5 years 32.7% 21-25 years 16.3% GT 5 years 26.2% GT 5 years 18.4% 26-30 years 6.1% 31-40 years 8.2% The young groups participate more in the drug selling than adult addicts. Some end up with other illegal activities. Drug users enter into illegal activities after they involve with drugs more than a year. 7.3: Price, Average Intake, Expenditure, and Income Drug User Drug User & Seller N = 116 N = 61 - Amphetamine (N = 58) - Amphetamine (N = 50) Average Income 328.2 baht Average Income 773.2 baht Per Day Per Day Average Expenditure Average Expenditure on Drugs Per Day 316.6 baht on Drugs Per Day 563.5 baht Average Intake Per Day 2.75 tablets Average Intake Per Day 6.51 tablets Average Price 78.4 baht Average Price 60.37 baht - Heroin (N = 70) Average Income 402.6 baht Per Day Average Expenditure on Drugs Per Day 699.3 baht Average Intake Per Day 3.80 tubes Average Price 128.0 baht - Heroin (N = 27) Average Income 1031.6 baht Per Day Average Expenditure on Drugs Per Day 989.6 baht Average Intake Per Day 5.30 tubes Average Price 110.7 baht Table 8: Lack of Warmth as a Stimulant to Drug Abuse 8.1 Youth Under the Age of 18 and Family Structure Family Structure Less Than 18 Years Total Dependents N = 33 N = 175 Live in Warmth Family 42.4% 40.6% Live in Disputed Family 9.1% 5.1% Divorced 24.2% 22.9% At Least One Died 18.2% 20.6% Do not Live With Parents 6.1% 10.9% 8.2 Characteristics of Drug Users Living With Parents Live With Parent Less Than 18 Years Total Dependents N = 17 N = 80 Disputed Family 17.6% 11.3% Drug Selling 52.9% 35.0% Illegal Jobs 47.1% 31.3% Currently a Student 76.5% 33.8% 59 8.3 Type of Drugs among Warmth Family Group Type Under 18 years old Overall N = 14 N = 71 Heroin 0.0% 31.0% Amphetamine 85.7% 52.1% Both 7.1% 15.5% One half of the young addicts have something in common such as parent divorced or separated, being orphan, moving out, living with parents who usually or severely dispute. The other half of the children under the age of 18 in the sample live with their parents and 42.4% are living in family without or merely little quarrel. This infers that the problem of drug addiction occurs in part because they are spoilt by their parents. Three quarters of the children living with parents are still in school, but nearly half of them involve in some kind of illegal activities as well as drug selling. Almost all of these children addict to amphetamine. The problem of illicit drugs is not specific to unloved children. The results from the survey show that 40.1% of total dependents live with parent and have no family problem. Some of them come from middle class or even wealthy family. As described by an example from a non-government treatment center in Ratchaburi, the Rebirth Therapeutic Community Center takes care of 350 young men from the age of 13 to early 20s. Most of them are from middle class and upper class families in Bangkok. Most young people were sent to the center by their parents and drugs they had used were amphetamines and designer drugs. Their problem is not because of unloved by family, but over-indulged. Often, they are the only child, spoilt and lack of self-discipline. Common characteristics are that they are dependent on friends, weak self-esteem and confidence [Bangkok Post, 18 May 1999]. Table 9: School Drop Out, Unemployment, and Drug Use 9.1 School Drop Out as a Catalyst for Drug Use Status Experiment Drug Experiment Drug While Studying After School Drop Resignation (N = 34) 76.5% 23.5% Discharged (N =15) 93.3% 6.7% Graduation (N = 84) 67.9% 32.1% Studying (N = 40) Total (N = 173) 79.2% 20.8% About one quarter of drug abusers experimented drug after school drop, while threequarters were familiar with it during school. Twenty-three point one percent of the samples either resigned or were discharged from schools due to drug addiction. 9.2 Characteristics of Unemployed Drug Users as a Catalyst for Drug Use Status Drug Experiment For Unemployed Group N = 173 N = 61 Resignation 19.7% Use Drug Before School Drop 72.6% Discharged 8.7% And Currently Unemployed Graduation 48.6% Use Drug After School Drop 25.8% Studying 23.1% And Currently Unemployed Unemployed 35.8% One-fourth of drug abusers got out of school, unemployed, and then, are addicted to drugs. 60 Table 10: Incentives and Disincentives to Treatment Facilities 10.1 Pushers for Treatment and Factors for Returning to Use Drug Reasons for Treatment Reasons for Return Children Under 18 years (N=34) 1. Do For Family 35.3% 2. Parent Coercion 26.5% 3. Self-intention 20.6% 4. Poor Health 11.8% 5. Others 5.9% Total Drug Dependents (N=174) 1. Self-intention 35.1% 2. Do For Family 34.5% 3. Parent Coercion 12.1% 4. Poor Health 8.6% 5. Others 9.8% Conditions of Treatment (N=177) - New Cases 26.6% - Re Entry 73.4% Reasons for Return (N=124) 1. Do not Want to Quit/ 34.7% Can Not Quit 2. Return to an Old 34.7% Environment 3. Unemployment 14.5% 4. Family Problem 12.1% 5. Others 4.0% Intention After this Treatment N = 177 1. Isolation From 54.2% Previous Friends 2. Return to the 32.2% Old Place 3. Move to a New 11.3% Place The Parent is the most influential factor for the youth to seek out help from the treatment center. Drug addicts can not quit using drug because they return to their former environment and because they are not serious about getting away from drugs. The persons interviewed in this survey are drug dependents who sought treatment at one of the treatment centers in Bangkok. Their opinions may not be representative of other dependents who have no interest in seeking treatment. However, for those who did enter, it is interesting to see what some of their incentives and disincentives were for doing so. Out of the total of 177 dependents, 47 persons or 26.6% are the first-time treatment. The 46.6% of the total are influenced by their parent to seek for treatment and the number is higher, 61.8%, for children under 18 years old. Among the clients who return to use drug, 34.7% of those do not want to quit or are not able to quit. The same proportion can not quit drug because they must return to an old environment. Some of them, 12.1%, return to narcotics due to family problem and 14.5% due to unemployment. The intention of drug dependents once they entered the treatment center for help, however, has shown strong desire to quit. That is, 65.5% intends to move away from their usual life by either discard previous friends who addict to drug or move to some other place. Nevertheless, a still high proportion, 32.2% have no choice and have to return to the old environment. 10.2 Impediments to Find Treatment Disincentive Children Under 18 Years Old N = 34 Have No Money 2.9% Poor Treatment 11.8% Afraid of Treatment 14.7% Afraid of Being Arrested by Police 11.8% Treatment Can Not Help 5.9% Do Not Want to Quit 38.2% Others 14.7% Total Drug Dependents N = 164 10.4% 9.8% 13.4% 6.1% 2.4% 46.3% 11.6% Disincentives not to seek for treatment include lack of strong intention, afraid of treatment, treatment expenses, and poor treatment by the center. The information from the 61 survey indicates that police can be a disincentive for drug addicts not to seek out for help because drug abusers fear that they may be arrested at the treatment centers. The main disincentive not to seek for treatment is derived from the reason that they themselves do not want to take treatment, 46.3%. The second reason is afraid of treatment, 13.4%. Having not enough money accounts for 10.4% and poor treatment from treatment centers makes up of 9.8%. Some clients indicate that they are afraid of being arrested by the police if they show up at the treatment centers. A small percent, 2.4%, do not believe that they can get out from drug by the treatment centers. Other disincentives include fear that parents will know or being refused by parents, know no where to go, viewing that they are not addicted to drug, self-quitting, and desperation. The evidence from the survey indicates that police can be a disincentive to seek out for treatment of drug users. In fact, the anti-drug policies have created conflicts for policy implementation. For instance, the provision in the Criminal Code and the Prime Minister’s Office order have conflicts in that the Criminal Code holds that addicts are criminals and must be treated as such while the PM’s Office order views addicts as clients. Often, it turns out that addicts registering for treatment find themselves arrested by the police. It is no question that the provision in the Criminal Code in which addicts are deemed criminals deters many from seeking treatment. 62 Part III. The Regression Models In this part, two questions are addressed in order to explain the responsive behaviors from each kind of drug users to the effect of price and income. 1. How do heroin and amphetamine users react to each price and income change and are there any cross-relationship in the pair of drugs? This question is done by the estimation of price, income, and cross-price elasticity on drugs in question. 2. Do drug users who experience only one drug react similarly or differently to those who are familiar with more than one drug? Do drug users who gain money by selling amphetamine behave different than those who do not when one price changes? The two questions are clarified by applying dummy variables on pattern of drug use and the user status into each drug equation. 1. Estimation of Price, Income and Cross-price Elasticity of Demand Two approaches have been attempted to estimate price elasticities for illicit drugs over the last 2 decades. One is the “participation” price elasticity that tries to investigate the relationship between the change in the number of drug abusers and the price changes. Another is the “use” price elasticity that relates the change in the volume of drug consumed and the price changes. More recent works on price elasticity believe the price elasticity for heroin more elastic than previously thought. The results of “participation” price elasticity from various works ranged between –0.80 and –1.0, and the “use” price elasticity for heroin could be as high as –1.8 [UNDCP, 1996]. Heroin: Due to the structure of data obtained, the estimates of the own price and income elasticity can be done with the full set of 60 heroin observations, but the cross-price elasticity between heroin and amphetamine has to be computed from sub-group that contains only users who take both heroin and amphetamine. The relationships between the quantity demanded for heroin per day and a number of explanatory variables were examined by adding relevant variable to each model, and the models used are the following: Model A: All heroin users Q1 = a1 + a2 lnP1 + a3 I Model B: Combination of heroin and amphetamine Q1 = b1 + b2 lnP1 + b3P3 + b4 I Where Q1 = Units purchase (tubes) of heroin per day (1 tube contains 50mg) ln P1 = log of price of heroin per tube P3 = Price of amphetamine I = Income per day 63 Variable Constant Model A 30.180 (3.04) -5.481 (-2.60) Model B 21.402 (2.52) LnP1 -3.586 (-1.95) P3 -0.014 (-0.42) I 0.003 0.002 (2.62) (3.06) R2 0.189 0.413 Observations 60 22 -0.96 -0.71** p 0.23 0.28 I -0.18* h,a Note: * the estimated coefficient of the variable is insignificant ** the estimated coefficient of the variable is significant at 10% level Amphetamine (YA-BA): From 75 observations of amphetamine users that provide necessary data to estimate income and price elasticity, the full data set is tested by the following double-log relation between demand for amphetamine and independent variables: price of amphetamine and income per day. The estimation of the relationship between the pair of amphetamine and heroin is specific to only the 2-drugs users and is performed by adding price of heroin to the former equation. The model for amphetamine consumption: Model 1: All amphetamine users ln Q3 = a1 + a2 ln P3 + a3 lnI Model 2: Combination of amphetamine and heroin ln Q3 = b1 + b2 ln P3 + b3 lnP1 + b4 lnI where lnQ3 = log of quantity purchased of amphetamine per day (tablets) ln P3 = log of price of amphetamine per tablet ln P1 = log of price of heroin ln I = log of income per day Variable Constant Model 1 5.081 (3.80) -1.385 (-4.72) Model 2 4.649 (0.845) lnP3 -0.200 (-0.25) lnP1 -0.505 (-0.55) lnI 0.326 -0.055 (3.67) (-0.23) R2 0.339 0.032 Observations 75 17 -1.39 -0.20* p 0.33 -0.05* I -0.50* a,h (with heroin) Note: * the estimated coefficient of the variable is insignificant 64 Summary of the Findings of Elasticities Elasticity Own-Price Income Cross-Price (with heroin price) Cross-Price (with amphetamine price) Heroin -0.96 0.23 insignificant Amphetamine -1.39 0.33 insignificant - With an attempt to estimate the “use” price elasticity from Bangkok drug addicts, we obtain the price elasticity for heroin somewhat lower than predicted. Our study of price elasticity is –0.96 for heroin and –1.38 for amphetamine. With the lower price elasticity for heroin, it is more comfortable to say that heroin is more of an addicted drug than is amphetamine. The income elasticity for amphetamine is a bit more elastic than heroin, but both drugs are still inelastic and classified as necessity goods. We find that the estimated coefficients of one drug with respect to price of the other drug are insignificant and conclude that there is no relationship between heroin and amphetamine on its responsiveness to the other price change. The cross-elasticity that relation marijuana quantity with respect to heroin or amphetamine price can not be estimated due to too small samples of marijuana users. Though they are not quantifiable, the expected elasticity between marijuana quantity and heroin price should be small. In the short run, a hard drug group tends to be more difficult to switch to alternative lighter drugs because of its addiction whereas light drug users should be more eager to find stronger drugs as substitutes. Information from drug users in the survey indicates the low substitution by marijuana. Only 3.1% of heroin users switch to marijuana when heroin price increases, and 9.3% of amphetamine users report marijuana as a substitute. In the long run, all kinds of illicit drugs including some licit drugs become potential for taking interchangeably until the users acquire strong intention to terminate it. One should realize that drug abuse pattern presently becomes more complex. One kind of drug can serve as complementary to another drug at one time and can be a substitute for the same kind at a different time. Many drug addicts we talked with indicated that they could find substitutes for illegal drugs from all kinds in time of shortage. They also took in several drugs complimentarily for stronger feeling and for lasting longer. The finding that the cross-price elasticity between heroin and amphetamine is insignificant illustrates the nature of heroin users in both directions. Since the crossprice elasticity in the survey must be obtained from persons who take in both drugs, the fact reveals that the specific group who use both drugs are mostly the heavy users of heroin and are likely to behave that way. Experience with heroin sharp price increase in Thailand in 1996, however, depicts another different story. As a consequence of price skyrocket of heroin, more heroin users switched to other drugs including amphetamines. Such behavior suggests the sign of cross-price elasticity between heroin and amphetamine to be positive. Our study on crossprice elasticity between heroin and amphetamine, by contrast, were not found to be statistically significant. The reasons appear to be that most heroin users nowadays, who are only heavy users, use amphetamine temporarily only in the case of heroin supply shortage. They do not view amphetamine as perfect substitute for heroin. Similarly, amphetamine users view their use of amphetamine as different purposes than heroin and do not substitute heroin for amphetamine if such amphetamine shortage occurs. 65 In addition, that a number of heroin addicts switched to amphetamine and other tranquilizers in 1996 is an exception. The zero cross-price elasticity between the two drugs explains that a small change in one price will have no effect to the other drug consumption, but that year incurred an enormous change in heroin price and must be explained differently. Because the effects of either drugs are transmitted to the same receptor in the central nervous system of the users, the abruptly termination of drugs will take some time for the users to return to normal. During that period, the users will face with one or more types of withdrawal symptoms ranging from anxiety to strong agony from drug abstention and many of them return to continue dependence on their drugs. When facing shortage, the addicts will find whatever drugs enabling them to withstand the withdrawal symptoms. With long enough period of shortage, the users will be adaptable to the new drugs and will be completely addict to it. All this does suggest that anti-drug policies on the supply side incur very little chance to overcome the drug problems. Economists call a change in drug consumption of only 2-3% as responsive to a 10% change in income is low elasticity. The interpretation of low income elasticity of both drugs is that drug addicts will put every effort to find money to purchase drugs. Illegal drug is a necessity good in a sense that the utility the addicts obtain from using drug is so numerous. The “use” value from drugs is higher than the “exchange” value. Explicitly, heroin is important to its users because heroin makes them addict. One who addicts to it will have withdrawal symptoms during the first week of drug termination. Medicinal drugs like amphetamines do not generate withdrawal symptoms if one tries to quit. The high “use” value of the amphetamine to its users happens because they are receiving high utility from it and do not want to quit. The result does not suggest that they have no sensitive to income changes at all. In fact, when the price of heroin rose sharply in 1996, the income effect from the large enough price increase could bring a large number of heroin addicts to use less of it or turn to something else. 2. Testing the Existence of The Pattern of Drug Use on Price Elasticity Heroin: To test the hypothesis that how strong the quantity consumed of heroin depends on heroin price and income per day, we estimate the demand equation with the linear-log function of the following model with some dummies. Further investigation to the pattern of heroin use and the effect of drug dealership also puts into the model. The data are cross-section over the 60 samples. Q1 = 1 + 2lnP1 + 3I + 4D1lnP1 + 5D2lnP1 + 6D3lnP1 + 7D4lnP1 where Q1 = Unit purchases (tubes) of heroin per day LnP1 = log of heroin price per tube I = income per day of heroin users D1lnP1 = 1 if the users use heroin and amphetamine D2lnP1 = 1 if the users use heroin and marijuana D3lnP1 = 1 if the users use heroin, amphetamine and marijuana D4lnP1 = 1 if the users reports him/herself as both user and seller of drug 66 Applying the OLS procedure, the estimated model is given by Q1 = (3.00) 30.260 – 5.531 lnP1 + 0.003 I – 0.319 D1lnP1 + 0.766 D2lnP1 (-2.57) (2.43) (-0.84) (1.37) - 0.318 D3lnP1 + 0.302 D4lnP1 (-0.64) (0.83) R2 = 0.240 n = 60 The estimates of own price and income elasticity for the use-one-drug group in the model using mean price, mean quantity consumed, and mean income are –0.97 and 0.24 consecutively. The t-statistics for all dummy variables are insignificant, therefore this suggests no difference in own price elasticity among heroin users with varying combination of drug use. In addition, both groups of drug users and drug retailers respond similarly to heroin price changes. A drug dependence who abstains from taking drugs abruptly will suffer from the effect of detoxification and withdrawal symptoms, thus no perfect alternate for heroin is available no matter how many drugs they are using. The field data reveal the above findings in that many heroin addicts enter into amphetamine trade in order to gain money to buy heroin. Therefore, it should incur not much different response to heroin price changes on the two groups of drug buyers and drug retailers. Amphetamine (YA-BA): Similar dummies are added to the basic amphetamine equation to test the existence of different price elasticities on different patterns of drug use as well as the importance of being involved in drug selling and the elasticities. The model specification is given by the following equation: lnQ3 = 1 + 2 lnP3 + 3 lnI + 4 D1lnP3 + 5 D2lnP3 + 6 D3lnP3 + 7 D4lnP3 where lnQ3 lnP3 lnI D1lnP3 D2lnP3 D3lnP3 D4lnP3 = log of quantity consumed of amphetamine (tablets) per day = log of price of amphetamine per tablet = log of income per day of amphetamine users = 1 if the users use amphetamine and heroin = 1 if the users use amphetamine and marijuana = 1 if the users use amphetamine, heroin and marijuana = 1 if the users report him/herself as both user and seller of drug The result is as follow, with t-statistics in parentheses: lnQ3 = 4.633 – 1.193 lnP3 + 0.224 lnI – 0.122 D1lnP3 – 0.021 D2lnP3 (3.71) (-4.24) (2.50) (-1.80) (-0.35) + 0.077 D3lnP3 + 0.140 D4lnP3 (1.18) (2.90) R2 = 0.470 n = 75 From the model, the estimated coefficients of lnP3, lnI, and D4lnP3 are significant at 5% level, and the coefficient of D1lnP2 is significant at 10% level. The estimated ownprice elasticity for the use-one-drug group in the model is –1.19 and income elasticity is 67 0.22. The strong t-statistic for D4lnP3 variable makes clear that the own-price elasticity among amphetamine users is different than that of amphetamine sellers. Furthermore, there is a tendency that amphetamine users who use drug with heroin will be more responsive to amphetamine price changes than general amphetamine users. Because those who use both amphetamine and heroin usually begin with heroin as their first drug of choice and use amphetamine as a temporary substitute when heroin is not available, the higher price elasticity from the group of addicts who use both drugs signifies this fact. When price of amphetamine decreases, combined-drug users consume more of amphetamine noticeably. On the contrary, pure amphetamine users are not yet familiar with other drugs. They have fewer substitutes for amphetamine and react quite less responsively as a result. Amphetamine abusers who get involved with the drug-selling cycle earn money easily and enough for drug purchase. Consequently, they are already consuming more of it and receiving a cheaper price. Hence, it is not surprising to have lower price elasticity for amphetamine to this group than another who has to find money other ways. Estimated Own-Price Elasticity for differing groups of amphetamine users Combination of Drug Use User Only Both User and Seller Use amphetamine alone -1.19 -1.05 Use amphetamine with heroin -1.32 -1.17 68 Chapter 3 Market Clearing Mechanisms Introduction Objectives The objective of this part of the study is to investigate the markets for illegal drugs. Actually there are many different markets for drugs. First of all, there are markets for different illegal drugs. The market for amphetamines may or may not be related to the market for heroin. Secondly, each level of the supply chain for each drug is a separate market. The wholesale market is different from the retail market, which is different from the producer level. At each level a price needs to be determined, returns for the participants need to be sufficient for their involvement, a unique market structure will develop, and the potential for intervention by drug control agencies will be different. Thirdly, even for each drug at a given level of the supply chain there may be different markets if the customers differ. For example, the retail market for amphetamines sold to school children may be very different, and may respond to very different incentives than the retail market for amphetamines sold to truck drivers. Certainly the purpose of this study is not so much completeness in covering every possible market in detail, but is rather to give an overview of the significant markets and issues and drug situation in Thailand. For that reason, some markets will be covered in much more detail than others. Prices come from the complementary forces of supply and demand. This section will discuss prices of illegal drugs and their determinants. Hopefully studying this issue will give us some clues about the best way to address the serious drug problem that confronts Bangkok as well as other parts of the world. Although this is a study about drug use in Bangkok, the problem of drug abuse is actually much broader. Illegal drug use is a regional problem, not just a Thai problem, and certainly not just a city-wide problem. Burma is thought to be the second largest grower of opium in the world after Afghanistan, with Laos in third place. Burma and China are thought to be the two biggest producers of illicit amphetamines in the world 22. With neighbors such as these, and given Thailand’s access to world travel routes, Bangkok is a natural transit point for the export of illegal drugs to the world market. It is estimated that a good share of the drugs seized is Thailand are destined for export. Widespread drug use is also not confined to Bangkok. In recent polls ranking the number of drug addicts by region Bangkok came in either second or third out of the five Thai regions. Thailand’s neighbors are also trying to control their drug problems. Therefore, although this study will focus on the situation in Bangkok, it will be necessary to refer to a broader geographical area on a number of occasions. This is especially true for issues of organizational structure, and price. 22 International Narcotic Control Board, Annual Report 1999 (as reported in the Nation, February 24, 1999) 69 Thai Drug Use The most serious drug problem in Bangkok is amphetamines (methamphetamines). Use is widespread and growing quickly. Drug use is mostly among the young, and perhaps 30 percent of amphetamines tablets are sold in schools. Other at-risk groups include slum dwellers and the unemployed. None of these groups have any money, which begs the question “How is drug use financed?” Originally amphetamines were used mainly by truck drivers trying to stay awake, and laborers (including farmers) who needed to work long hours. These groups continue to use amphetamines. Opium is indigenous to the area, and has long been used by hill tribe groups in rituals and as a form of relaxation. The use of the refined form, heroin, has been a longstanding problem in Thailand. Although there are still many addicts, in recent years the use of heroin has showed some decline. However, there is new evidence that suggests that the use of heroin may be on the rebound. (The rebound may be due to cheap prices relative to amphetamines in the last year.) The use of heroin is of special concern because of its extremely addictive nature, the risk of Aids from contaminated needles, and its relatively serious effect on personal health. For our study, opium is important mostly as a precursor for heroin. The use of ecstasy, along with several other “luxury” drugs, is popular among the rich and fashionable. Ecstasy is a social drug and is often used in groups. These drugs are beyond the reach of most of the population, but are used to put an edge on nightlife by the disco, partying, crowd. For the most part, Ecstasy is imported from Europe. Use in Thailand is mostly limited to big cities such as Bangkok and Chiangmai. The use of marijuana in Thailand seems to be widespread in that many people have tried it, but on the other hand, stories suggest that that there are not many people who use it all the time. Sometimes it is used as a “starter” drug, since it is easy to use. Use may be more prevalent in the northeast where it is grown. Marijuana is also produced for export and commands a high premium in the United States. Only some of the marijuana produced is exported directly from Thailand. The use of solvents and glue is also a problem, especially by the very young. It is a cheap starter drug, which is widely available to primary school children. Because it is legal for purposes other than inhaling, there is no organized structure for its sale or distribution, and prices are determined by demand and supply for its licit use. Amphetamines are in the public eye – if this report were written for Thailand it would be nearly all about amphetamines. That is because the use of amphetamines is thought to be growing at perhaps 50 percent a year, while the use of other drugs is constant or in decline. Thailand certainly faces a problem with amphetamines. Amphetamine seizures in Thailand amounted to 20 percent of the world total in 1998.23 23 International Narcotic Control Board, Annual Report 1999 (as reported in the Nation, February 24, 1999) 70 Introduction to Market Structure There are many reasons to be interested in the structure of drug markets. Market structure is likely to have an effect on price, on quantity, on violence, on corruption, and finally on what we can do to control the drug market. In some ways drug markets will act similar to legitimate firms, in some ways they will not. Sometimes we wish drug firms would act less like legitimate firms! Market structure affects price but probably less so than in a licit market. With a legitimate firm, market structure is one of the most significant determinants of price. A monopoly can often charge a much higher price than a firm engaged in a market that is perfectly competitive. With drugs, risk and availability (after supression efforts) probably play a much greater role. Nevertheless, we will see that market structure will still have a significant effect on price, with higher markups for less competitive stages in the supply chain The effect of market structure on price is especially noticeable at the retail level, where the number of sellers in a local market varies widely. To reduce drug use we want high prices for consumers and low prices for producers. Generally consumers buy more the lower the price, and producers produce more as price rises. It is where the supply and demand curves meet that actual production occurs. For some goods with negative externalities that are thought to cause harm to society, we want to create a wedge between the supply and demand curve to decrease use. For a legal market, this is easily accomplished by a tax, such as is applied to cigarettes and alcohol. Demand p1+t p0 Tax p1 Supply q1 q0 For an illegal market, we have to rely on less direct means. One possible approach is to increase the cost of production. We do this by 1) controlling drug precursors, 2) increasing the risk of seizure, 3) increasing the cost of distribution due to the need for secrecy and direct selling, 4) increasing labor costs due to risk premiums, etc. But there is a limit to this approach. Increasing returns to labor ensures that there is always a sufficient supply of labor, and the high risk, high return combination self selects for participants who have a low aversion to risk, and perhaps have little to lose by participating. What is the optimal market structure for illegal drugs? What market structure would we prefer for drug traffickers? There are four key issues: price, quantity, corruption, and violence. The argument is often made that in the presence of a negative externality, a monopoly may be preferable in social welfare terms to perfect competition. The argument goes that a monopoly produces a lower quantity 71 and charges a higher price, discouraging consumption. However, a monopoly is very profitable and has income distribution effects, which in the case of drugs, involves redistributing income from what is often the poorest class in the society, to rich drug lords. Worse than this, the drug lords often have interests that run strongly counter to the society at large, and they can use this drug money to finance corruption at all levels of government. Violence and market structure Oligopoly market structure An oligopoly may be the worse situation because it encourages the use of violence. With several financially strong competitors each collecting abnormal profits, there is the means and the motive for a good fight. This is especially true since with an illegal industry, competitors do not have recourse to the legal system. If you add to this participants who generally do not have a lot of risk aversion, and who live in a tough world of cops and robbers, you are asking for trouble. Perfectly competitive market structure With perfect competition each sellers feels she cannot affect the cost of the product. Likewise, price will not be affected if another seller sells less. Therefore there is no reason to eliminate or discourage other sellers. Certainly in the real world each seller has a certain degree of monopoly profit associated with geographical area, so perfect competition will not completely hold. Also each competitor does not have many resources since he or she has to sell almost at cost. Violence takes money just like any activity. Monopolistic market structure A monopoly does not have any competitors so has little need for violence. To the extent that competitors attempt to enter, the monopoly will need to act with violence to discourage them. This is especially true if the barrier to entering is violence. Nevertheless although violence may be cruel, it will also be rare. This is probably the case at the producer level, where much production is overseen by the United Wa State Army. The greatest amount of violence can be expected when there are several powerful factions who are competing for market share. In an oligopoly, firms make substantial profits, giving them the resources to fight back. They also are in a great battle for market share. Furthermore price will go up substantially if another firm exits. If drug firms have high profits they can exert strong negative forces on the economy, including corruption, politically co-opting the government, and funding other illicit activities, and compromising the legal order. This is the problem in Columbia where the drug industry is very centralized. This can occur in any case in which the seller has substantial market power and can charge a substantial profit, such as with an oligopoly or a monopoly. In sum, 72 Table 3.1 Characteristics of different market structures Market Quantity of Price of Corruption Structure Drugs Drugs Monopoly Low High High Oligopoly Medium Medium Perfect High Low Competition Source: Hypothesized by the author! Violence Response Low Medium High Better Opportunities Suppression Low Low Suppression Response based on market structure Finally, our response to the drug problem must change substantially depending on the market structure. If the drug market is competitive, participants are not making much more than their opportunity cost (next best alternative). Our best strategy is to make those next best alternatives a little better, to persuade participants to switch out of the illegal trade. In the case of oligopolies or a monopoly, participants make far above their opportunity costs, and it will be impossible to change their behavior. In this case we must depend on enforcement, which will further increase the incentive for drug lords to use corruption. In other words, our best response leads to their worst response. Price and Price Fluctuations Price Theory We hypothesis that price is a factor of both supply (precursors, labor costs, risk premium, profit margin), and of demand (own price, price of substitute, consumer preferences, risk to user, income.) We further hypothesis that participants at each level of the channel for illegal drugs must receive sufficient compensation to make the business profitable relative to opportunity costs and risks. That means that the return to both capital (money tied up in drugs) and labor (profit relative to outside job) must make the job worthwhile. Note that the improvement in outside alternatives can reduce the interest in this profession at any level. Chart of Retail Prices Over Time Selling drugs is a surreptitious activity that requires a fair amount of secrecy and a certain degree of trust. For that reason, most drugs are sold using direct sales through a great array of agents. The price at which drugs are sold varies a great deal. The retail drug market is marked by imperfect information. Because of the risk involved, few buyers will shop around for drugs, instead using the one seller they know. Furthermore, sellers may demand higher prices from people they don’t know as well, or from those who they think do not know the price of drugs. Finally the drug user can buy either at the retail level, or go to a small wholesaler, which again will affect the reported retail price. For these reasons, the reported retail price of drugs varies widely. In the below table, a range of prices is reported based on data from a number of different sources. If a particular price is thought to be stronger than other reported prices, it is printed in bold type. Overall, the price of drugs has not varied that much over the last 4 years, though prices before that time may have been a bit lower. 73 Table 3.2: Retail Price of Illegal Drugs in Bangkok over the Last Six Years, in Baht Drug Methamphetamine, One tablet (.07 gram) Heroin, #4, 1 straw (.05 gram) Marijuana, One small bag, (.5 gram) Ecstasy, One tablet 1994 30-4055-70-80 50-100 1995 70-100 30-50 30-50 1996 80-100120 50-100200-300 30-100 ------ 300-1000 ----- 50-100 1997 70-100150 50-120 1998 80-100120-150 100-120 40-50100 800-1200 50-100 1999 60-80-100150 100- 120300 50-80-100 8001200 500-8001000-1500 Sources: Compiled by the author from a various sources.24 Table 3.3: Retail Price of Illegal Drugs in Bangkok over the Last Six Years, in Dollars Drug Methamphetamine, One tablet (.07 gram) Heroin, #4, 1 straw (.05 gram) Marijuana, One small bag, (.5 gram) Ecstasy, One tablet 1994 1.20-1.60 2.20-2.80 2.00-4.00 1.20-2.00 ------ 1995 2.804.00 2.004.00 1.202.00 ------ 1996 3.20-4.00 4.80 2.00-4.00 1997 2.26-3.23 4.83 1.61-3.87 1998 1.95-2.44 2.93-3.66 2.44-2.93 1.20-4.00 1.29-1.61 3.23 25.8038.70 1.22-2.44 12.0040.00 19.5029.30 1999 1.58-2.112.63-3.95 2.63-3.16 7.89 1.32-2.112.63 13.20-21.00 26.30-39.50 Exchange rates 1994-1996: 1 US dollar = 25 baht, 1997: 1 US dollar = 31 baht, 1998: 1 US dollar = 41 baht, 1999: 1 US dollar = 38 baht Note: We would caution the reader that due to the currency crisis of 1997 and currency fluctuations thereafter, that the dollar price of illegal drugs are a very inaccurate predictor of drug use in Thailand. Clearly it is the domestic (baht) price that will influence buying and selling behavior of illegal drugs in Bangkok. Salaries and prices have been fairly stable in baht terms, but would appear to fluctuate wildly in dollar terms. Therefore it is urged that dollar prices be used only for comparing relative drug price levels between countries, not comparisons between years. Price of a Few Other Drugs Besides the above drugs, in 1999 pure grade cocaine was available for 4000 baht ($105) per gram, and second grade cocaine cost 3000 baht ($79 baht). Ketamine was available for about 500 baht ($13.15) a pack. Up until early in 1999, many people produced ketamine themselves by heating a bottle of ketava ketava in the microwave (250 baht or $6.60 a bottle) which could make two packs of ketamine. However, ketara ketara has now also been made illegal. Chart of Wholesale Prices Over Time Wholesale prices show a similar pattern to retail prices, suggesting that there is not much market power at the retail level. If the retail level had market power they would try to maintain price when the wholesale price dropped. With many suppliers we did not expect much market power at the retail level. There is some evidence that the price 24 Some sources of drug price information include: 1) Survey data of this research team, 2) ONCB data, 3) World Drug Report 2000, 4) “Higher social circles”, Bangkok Post, February 14, 1999, 5) “Sharp increase in price of heroin,” Bangkok Post August 8, 1996, 6) “Confessions of a young yaa baa addict,” Bangkok Post, March 16, 1997, 7) Guns, Girls, Gambling, Marijuana: Thailand’s Illegal Economy and Public Policy (1998), by Pasuk Phongpaichit, Sungsidh Piriyarangsan, and Nualnoi Treerat 74 margins have been falling from the wholesale to the retail level in the last year due to increased competition. Table 3.4: Wholesale Price of Illegal Drugs in Bangkok over the Last Six Years, in Baht Drug Methamphetamines Pack of 200 tablets Heroin, #4, 700 grams Marijuana, One kg. 1994 3,0004,500 100,000180,000 1,5002,500 1995 4,0006,000 150,000200,000 4,0005,000 1996 5,00010,000 200,000250,000 4,0005,000 1997 13,00015,000 300,000350,000 3,0005,000 1998 12,00016,000 250,000270,000 3,0005,500 1999 8,00010,000 300,000350,000 2,5005,000 Source: ONCB Table 3.5: Wholesale Price of Illegal Drugs in Bangkok over the Last Six Years, in Dollars Drug 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Methamphetamines 120160200419293211Pack of 200 tablets 180 240 400 484 390 263 Heroin, #4, 4,000600080009,7006,1007,900700 grams 7,200 8000 10000 11,200 6,700 9,200 Marijuana, 60160160977366One kg. 100 200 200 161 133 132 Source: ONCB, Exchange rates 1994-1996 1:25, 1997 1:31, 1998 1:41, 1999 1:38 Chart of Prices From Producer to Retailer Table 3.6: Price of Illegal Drugs at Different Stages in the Supply Chain, in Baht Border Price 3-5 Runner’s Commission 1-2 1225 1-2 Drug Precursors Methamphetamines 1 tablet Heroin, #4, .05 gram Ecstasy26 1 tablet Bangkok, Medium Wholesaler 30-40 Bangkok, Small Wholesaler 50-70 Bangkok, Retail 12-20 Transport to Bangkok 2-3 14-18 2-3 22-25 90-100 100 -120 90 80-120 800-1000 Source: Various sources, compiled by the author. Evidence About Price Changes at Production or Wholesale Level Amphetamines The cost of amphetamines is thought to vary in response to consumer preferences, quantity of production, competition between retailers, enforcement efforts, and income. 25 Assuming that Raw Opium is the primary precursor, and is required in a ratio of 10 kg of raw opium for 1 kg of heroin, and based on a price for raw opium of 10,000 baht/kg. Then we assume that this is 40 percent the cost of production as per Amphetamine-Type Stimulants: A Global Review (1996), United Nations International Drug Control Programme, page 84. 26 This is an estimated cost at the Thai border – mass production in Europe is likely substantially cheaper. “Heavy drug traffic,” Bangkok Post, January 10, 1999 75 Precursors probably do not play much of a role. Probably the biggest influence on the price of amphetamines has simply been supply increases due to high profit margins, and demand increases do to changes in underlying preferences. The demand for amphetamines has grown quickly over the last five years. At first prices rose, the drug was in short supply, and as law enforcement officers turned their attention to this drug. Initially (1994-1996), production was in the central region of Thailand in or near Bangkok. This was near the final demand and with easy access to precursors. As enforcement picked up, it became more difficult and more risky to produce drugs locally, production moved outside the country. At the same time, heroin producers in Burma were discovering that it was much more profitable and easier to produce amphetamines than heroin. Furthermore, they could use their entire distribution chain just as is. The price of amphetamines reached a high point in 1997 and has since been falling. It is likely that this trend will continue. Over the last five years demand has grown enormously fueled partially by a fad in secondary schools, the perception (probably rightly) that at least in small doses amphetamines are not particularly dangerous, and possibly fueled by the government’s own anti-drug publicity.27 This increase was exaggerated by the recession which increased the number of sellers (pushers), and the number of unemployed which make up a big part of demand. The recession probably also helped to reduce price as buyers had less disposable income. The net result of this was that the price of amphetamines did not change that much, although there is evidence that the price is coming down a bit, especially at the retail level. Much of the growth in supply was matched by the growth in demand. This is not likely to continue despite the fears of drug enforcement agents. The most costly ingredient in amphetamine is ephedrine. The precursor cost of a gram of amphetamine is about 30 cents US without ephedrine, or $2.00 US dollars with ephedrine28. Given that each amphetamine pill contains about .025 - .03 grams of amphetamine, that would put production cost per tablet with amphetamine at 5-6 cents (about 2 baht) Other estimates state that the production cost of an amphetamine tablet with ephedrine is about 3-5 baht (8-13 cents). Ephedrine is a legal (licit) drug in many countries and is readily available. Generally it is imported into Burma from China, as China is one of the biggest producers of ephedrine in the world. Recently ephedrine has also been imported from India as well. The active ingredient in ephedrine is also available from locally grown plants, and this locally produced ephedrine is currently being substituted in some cases. Other ingredients in methamphetamine tablets include caffeine, imported from Thailand, and flour, locally available. It is quite cheap and reasonably easy to produce methamphetamines, so there is little reason to think that the price is influenced by the availability of any of these raw materials. Machines used to press the pills are usually imported illegally from Thailand, but there doesn’t seem to be any problem in obtaining them. Some of them are quick 27 Please note our demand survey that showed that drug use increased with enforcement efforts for young 16-18 year olds. For all older users use decreased with enforcement efforts. 28 Amphetamine-Type Stimulants: A Global Review (1996), United Nations International Drug Control Programme, Based on average price in the United States between 19911994 using licit sources, page 84. 76 small and difficult to track. Previous studies have found that compared to other drugs, the manufacture of methamphetamine is particularly profitable, since the value of raw materials is so low compared to plant-based drugs such as heroin.29 Opium/Heroin The price of heroin has varied due to the fortunes of key drug lords, its price relative to amphetamines, user preferences, the success of the opium harvest, and the degree of supression by the police. Use of heroin showed a slight declining trend over this decade, up until 1998 when prices that were low relative to amphetamines led to a brief resurgence in the use of heroin.30 The most dramatic change in the price of heroin occurred in January 1996, with the surrender of Khun Sa, the drug lord who controlled much of the production of heroin in the golden triangle to the north of Thailand for many years. It was estimated that 90 percent of heroin production at that time was under his direct control. Heroin which had been selling for 150,000-200,000 a kilo ($6000-$8000) in the north, shot up to 300,000 to 400,00 a kilo ($12000-$16000) from March to May (Bangkok prices would be about 50,000 baht ($2000 higher) while groups in Burma fought over control of the heroin money machine. The end result, which has proved to be stable, is the division of Khun Sa’s operations among four different groups. By September 1996, the price had settled at 200,000-250000 baht in the north, with steady supplies. In the interim a serious shortage existed, which brought hardship to as many as 300,000 heroin addicts who could no longer afford the drug. Some addicts entered treatment at this time, others switched to amphetamines because of cheaper prices. Incidentally, this may have contributed to the mainstream acceptance of amphetamines. It was at about this time that amphetamine use changed from mostly long distance truck drivers to the general population. Does the supply of opium determine the price of heroin in Thailand? The Narcotics Control Board keeps track of the area planted in opium each year. Figures for the last 5 years are in the table below. Table 3.7: Opium Production in Thailand, in Kilograms Opium Cultivation 1993/1994 1994/1995 1995/1996 1996/1997 Production (Rai) 11,198 4,680 7,839 8,784 Eradicated (Rai) 8,209 3,622 5,537 6,581 Average Yield (Kg/Rai) 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 Total Production (Kg) 5,380 1,904 4,144 3,965 Potential Heroin (Kg) 538 190 414 397 Source: Opium Cultivation and Eradication Report for Thailand: 1997-1998, ONCB Note: 1 rai = 1,600 square meters, 1 hectare = 10,000 square meters 1997/1998 9,286 4,472 1.8 8,665 867 Note that the season for opium is in the winter, so that production spans two calendar years. Actually the growing season for opium is only about 3.25 months. Since the harvest is at the very end of the first year, or at the beginning of the second year, all opium produced will be used in the second year listed. In recent years the growing 29 Amphetamine-Type Stimulants: A Global Review (1996), United Nations International Drug Control Programme, page 84. The raw materials for plant-based drugs is typically 40-50 percent of the price producers receive. 30 The Nation, December 22, 1998, and the Thailand Narcotics Annual Report, 19981999, ONCB 77 season for opium has been expanded to allow for multiple harvests, but all drugs will still be used in the second of the years listed above. The problem with the above figures is that domestically grown opium (2-9 tons) makes up only a tiny part of production in the region. A better estimate is the amount of opium grown in the entire golden triangle area. Thai officials and the US state department estimate that opium grown in the Golden Triangle in 1997 was a whopping 1,829 tons (enough for 180 tons of heroin) and in 1998 it was 1,437 tons (enough for about 144 tons of heroin). The decrease was due to bad weather associated with El Nino. Table 3.8: Opium Production in the Entire Golden Triangle Region, in Kilograms Opium Cultivation 1993/1994 1994/1995 1995/1996 1996/1997 Production (Hectares) 168,664 175,768 186,712 179,924 Total Production (Kg) 1,722,000 1,803,000 1,915,000 1,829,000 Potential Heroin (Kg) 172,200 180,300 191,500 182,900 Source: Opium Cultivation and Eradication Report for Thailand: 1997-1998, ONCB 1997/1998 158,295 1,437,000 143,700 Considering that the supply of opium was down significantly in 1998, it is strange that the price of heroin was also low that year. One possible explanation is that local demand has little effect on the price of heroin, and world supply and demand was such that the price could decrease. 1998 did happen to be a good year for opium production in Thailand, but since heroin is now produced in border regions outside of Thailand, it makes little sense that domestic opium supply affects domestic prices. At least some of the small amount of opium produced in Thailand is used directly, and is never converted to heroin. Although Thailand denies heroin is still produced within its borders, it remains one of the world’s main transit routes for the drug, so a lot of the drug is coming through the country at any given time. 31 Drug seizures, inaccurate as they may be, might also give us a hint of how much of the drug was passing through Thailand. The table below does not suggest that anything unusual was happening with heroin in 1998. It does suggest that amphetamines circulating in the country have increased substantially. Table 3.9: Drug Seizures in Thailand from 1994 to 1998 Drug Seizures 1994 1995 Methamphetamines 450 539 (Kg) Heroin, #4 1,329 702 (Kg) Marijuana 8.82 19.88 (Tons) Ecstasy 6 17,913 (Tablets) Source: ONCB, 1998-1999 Annual Report 1996 805 1997 1,573 1998 2,778 410 313 511 16.72 9.11 5.33 3,850 68,040 4,517 Of these seizures, a considerable amount was seized in an attempt to export to a third country. It is estimated that 60 percent of heroin that passes through Thailand is for export, while most amphetamines are for domestic use. Much marijuana is for export, while trade in ecstasy is all inbound. 31 “Bumper opium harvest predicted,” The Nation, May 28th, 1998 78 (There is evidence that amphetamines are not regularly exported. In Thailand, and in Burma amphetamines are used in tablet form, while methamphetamines that are used in East Asia, the Philippines, and North America are in crystallized or “ice” form. There are have been zero seizures of tablets in these regions or passing through China.) Finally, money spent on controlling illegal drugs has increased steadily over the last five or six years, although the way that money is spent may have changed somewhat. In 1996 and before, the focus was clearly on heroin. Since that time the focus has clearly shifted to amphetamines. It is likely that the funds available to fight traffic in heroin have not changed much over this time period. In sum, it is not clear why prices for heroin fell in 1998, but it is hypothesized that it had to do with forces outside the region. Other Drugs The price of marijuana may actually have been dropping slightly over the last five years. The cultivation of marijuana in northeastern highlands has mostly succumbed to intense enforcement. A combination of aerial photographs and ground patrols has been a successful combination in fighting marijuana here. This shows up in seizure statistics. In 1998, only 48 tons of marijuana were eradicated compared to 1,098 tons in 1987. Much marijuana is still produced in neighboring countries, especially Laos and Cambodia. However, local demand for marijuana has not been great. Much of the marijuana grown is for export, and recently drug distributors have preferred routes other than Thailand because of strict enforcement, and because of the bulky nature of the product, which makes it difficult to ship out by air, unlike heroin. Water transport is not as dependent on a central hub as is air transport, so sea routes out of less regulated countries can be found. Thai marijuana fetches a very good price in the United States. The markup on Ecstasy and Cocaine is very high, perhaps three times its cost overseas. Mostly it is brought to Thailand in small batches, and is sold only to those the wealthy carrier already knows. Although the markup on these drugs is very high, the quantities are quite low, so that this is mostly not a way to amass great wealth, at least not yet. As production from Burma increases, the very high profit margins for ecstasy may make it a big money earner. The price of ecstasy has historically depended very much on the extent of drug suppression efforts. When the drug first came out, little attention was paid to it, and it was reasonably cheap, at about 300 baht a tablet ($12). Later, especially during 1998, suppression efforts were very strong and the price of ecstasy went as high as 1500 baht ($39) a tablet. Now the price has dropped back down to 800-1000 baht.($21-$26)32 If Burmese production picks up, the price will likely drop dramatically. The cost of production at the border is currently about 90 baht a tablet, and is likely to get cheaper. This leaves a lot of room for profits even with reduced prices, and prices will have to come down to increase demand. Although the demand for ecstasy is quite high because it is perceived as a high class novelty, it currently is priced too high to reach most of the population. Ecstasy and cocaine are replacements for other drugs that were used at high class parties in the 1980s. Previously wealthy people used heroin and marijuana instead. Actually marijuana is still often found at rave parties. 32 “Higher Social Circles”, Bangkok Post, February 14, 1999 79 Price of Drugs Relative to Some Common Measures Price levels in different countries differ significantly. It is useful to give a sense of the opportunity costs of a drug addict when drugs are purchased. To help give a sense of the cost of drugs relative to other goods, we can compare the cost of a single dose of a drug to some basic goods. As discussed above, a single tablet of amphetamine would typically cost 80 - 100 baht retail ($2.11-$2.63). Alternately the drug addict could buy a: Basic Starch: The basic starch in Thailand is rice. A plate of rice in Thailand costs about 5 baht (13 cents). A typical meal would cost 15 – 20 baht (39 – 53 cents) which would include rice and something to put on top of it. Commonly Consumed Alcoholic Beverage: A typical alcoholic beverage would be Thai whiskey, a locally made hard alcohol (40 percent alcohol by volume). A typical unit would be 250 ml at a cost of about 70 baht ($1.84). Commonly Purchased Footwear: A typical cheap pair of footwear might cost about 100 baht ($2.63). Of course footwear can vary in cost from the cheapest flip-flops at about 39 baht ($1.03 to a real pair of (locally made) shoes at about 500 baht ($13.16). Price Fluctuations Due to Enforcement It is difficult to measure the entire resources devoted to Narcotics Control, since as many as 60 government organizations are responsible for Narcotics control. In addition many Non-governmental organizations, communities, schools and businesses are involved in the drug control process. Finally aid is given from outside the country for this purpose. In general it can be said that drugs are perceived as a serious problem, and that the effort used to control them is steadily increasing. It has been estimated that in 1999 more than 1 billion baht ($26 million) was set aside to control the use of illegal drugs33. Purity It is thought that the purity of both amphetamines and heroin has increased in the last 5 years or so. In the case of amphetamines the change occurred when production shifted from Thailand to Burma. Amphetamines were mostly produced in Thailand in the 1994-1996 period, and thereafter produced in Burma. The reason for the increase in the purity of heroin is uncertain, but it has always been rather high relative to many other parts of the world. 33 ”Drug war hooked on wrong tactics,” The Nation, June 26, 1999 80 Table 3.10: Dosage and Purity of Drugs 1999 Drug Weight Purity Net Weight of Drug Unit Price (1999) Methamphetamine, One tablet Heroin, #4, One Straw Marijuana, One small packet .07 gram 25-30 % .018-.021 gram 80 Baht Price per gram of pure drug in US Dollars $100-$117 .04-.05 gram 80 % .032-.04 gram 120 Baht $79-$100 .5 gram 100 % .5 gram 50 Baht $2.63 Source: Based on an exchange rate of 38 Baht:1 dollar, prices as of 1999, purity as reported in an interview with the Director of the Narcotics Control Division, Food and Drug Organization of Thailand. Note that Heroin is sold in a much purer form in Thailand than in the West. Much of the cutting that occurs with heroin happens after the drug leaves Thailand. This is rumored to have caused overdoses among visiting foreigners who mistakenly took too much of the drug. Table 3.11: Dosage and Purity of Drugs 1996 Drug Weight Purity Net Weight Unit Price (1996) Methamphetamine, One tablet Heroin, #4, One Straw Marijuana, One small packet .07-.1 gram 10-20 % .007 - .02 gram 80 Baht Price per gram of pure drug in US Dollars $107 -$129 .03-.05 gram 70 % .021-.035 gram 100 Baht $48 -$57 .5 gram 100 % .5 gram 40 Baht $3.20 Source: based on an exchange rate of 25 Baht:1 dollar, prices as of 1996, purity as measured in a 1995-1996 survey34, and other sources35, and as reported in the forthcoming World Drug Report 2000. It is not easy to state the purity of something for which there is no quality control, there are many small producers, and there is no centralized collection agency. The biggest protection for the quality of amphetamines is that it is just not that expensive to use the standard level of ingredients. Also as the production of amphetamines becomes more centralized, purity will also become more stable. In general it is believed that there is less variety in purity, and especially in weight relative to a few years ago. Amphetamines are in tablet form, but Heroin is a powder and can be cut by anyone who comes into contact with it. Cocaine and Ecstasy come from outside the country, and from many different sources. Amphetamines Currently, an average mix of ingredients in an amphetamine tablet would include 15-25 mg amphetamine, 5-10 mg of caffeine and the rest powder, to a total of about 70 “A series of street drug study 1995-1996,” Information System Development Division, internal document, ONCB 35 Another source of purity information was “Drug Situation and Demand Reduction Activities in Thailand,” a report by The National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand, 1994 34 81 mg36. Other reports give the total weight as closer to 100 mg, but with similar proportions. In comparison, a cup of coffee contains about 60 mg of caffeine, meaning that caffeine is not a significant part of the high that users experience. Prior to the movement of most production to Burma, a typical mix of ingredients in an amphetamine tablet was 6-10 mg of methamphetamine, 6-10 mg of ephedrine, and 5 mg of caffeine. Supposedly, the reason for the ephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor, in the tablets was because the chemical process to change the ephedrine to methamphetamine is very smelly, and to do a thorough job of processing the ephedrine with the high level of suppression in Thailand was not possible. Therefore some ephedrine was always left unconverted. When production shifted to Burma, more complete processing of the ephedrine was possible, and with the same precursors, producers were able to get a better drug. It is not thought that the price changed significantly with the improvement of quality. It should also be noted that the method of ingesting the drug changed at about the same time, from eating to smoking. This resulted in a faster, stronger high that was perceived as an improvement in the strength of the drug. In the view of most users, amphetamines have gotten stronger in recent years relative to the price. They are probably accurate in this judgement. “There are many brands and colours of yaa baa [amphetamine]pills. There are pills for smoking, and there are pills for swallowing. There are weak pills and there are strong pills.”37 This quotation comes from a long-time amphetamine addict whose opinion is echoed in many other interviews. In general, people believe the orange colored amphetamine pills are the strongest, but it seems hard to maintain this. Property rights are weak when it comes to brands and colors of drugs, and there are many producers. Prices are also about the same for all colors and brands, and chemical tests have not found them to differ in a systematic way. There are many border factories that produce drugs of many different colors. One law enforcement officer thought that producers regularly changed colors to avoid detection. From an economists point of view, different colors for different uses might be part of a marketing plan to segment the market. However, it is not clear that the drug market is that well organized. Finally, as mentioned in previous sections, amphetamines in Thailand sometimes come in different scents and flavors (presumably to help attract one of their biggest markets, children) and colors may simply be signals of different flavors. Heroin There is a single brand of heroin used in Southeast Asia, called the “Lion on Earth” brand. Shipped in this form, the heroin is presumably pure. However, most heroin sold at the retail level has probably been cut to some extent. From a 1996 survey38 this was thought to be 70 percent, while a more recent estimate put the purity at 80 36 Director of Narcotics Division, Food and Drug Organization, Interview January, 2000 “Confessions of a young yaa baa addict,” Bangkok Post, March 16, 1997 38 “A series of street drug study 1995-1996,” Information System Development Division, internal document, ONCB 37 82 percent. However, the cutting, (or mixing in of other ingredients), takes place on an individual basis so that the purity of heroin sold at the retail level can vary widely. Other Drugs Ecstasy, cocaine and ketamine come in tablet form in small batches from Europe or the United States, and is probably not adulterated beyond whatever happens there. Drugs can sell for three times their cost in the States.39 Marijuana is sold pure, or occasionally is turned into resin for export. Organizational Competition Basic Theory To adequately discuss the industrial organization of the illegal drug industry we will need to travel far from Bangkok to the torturous jungles on the Burmese frontier. Only going back all the way through the supply chain can we examine the chain of control, profits and physical possession that will help us in our search for the weak links that make suppression possible. With illegal activities there is a tradeoff in terms of optimal scale. Small scale allows escape from detection, large scale gives power and influence. It is the intermediate scale that may be the most dangerous, when influence is not enough to protect you, but scale of operations is big enough to draw attention to yourself. The most dangerous actions associated with illegal drugs are those that involve handling the drug. Handling drugs is risky because the transfer of drugs is commonly thought to be the one sure proof of involvement. Penalties for involvement in the drug trade are very high. The greatest danger to a participant in the drug chain comes from the police (or potentially the military or other drug suppression agency). This danger is not only the physical danger of being intercepted with drugs in hand, it is also the significant financial risk of losing your capital investment. These two sources of risk will be avoided if sufficient resources are available. Does every link of the supply chain make a lot of money? No, the retail level, and lower wholesale sale levels may make good profits, but not enough to make the participants wealthy. But what we can say with a fair degree of certainty is this: Any participant in the drug supply chain who makes sufficient profits will seek out and obtain two services: 1) Someone to physically handle the drugs. 2) Some sort of protection from inside the police force. What does this tell us? First of all, it is likely that the physical transfer of drugs will be separated from the ownership of the drug. Therefore, when we draw the supply chain we need to differentiate between the physical supply chain and the ownership supply chain. The people captured at the upper end of the supply chain are likely to be employees of the real owners. 39 “Higher Social Circles”, Bangkok Post, February 14, 1999 83 There is likely to be some sort of pre-existing tie between the drug owner and his employees. Hiring others to handle the drug will protect the owner from prosecution, but will not protect him from the financial risk of losing the drug. Besides the risk of honest interception, there is always the risk that the employee will cheat the owner. The owner protects himself from this eventuality by some ties (family ties, racial ties, etc.) or by intimidation. If the level of the owner is high enough, these ties will likely operate through a middleman so that the middleman has close ties to the owner and to the employees, but no direct link between the two exists. Secondly, there will likely be regular contact between the police and the drug agents. There are three services the police can offer the drug agent: 1) The police can give information about future police actions, 2) The police can “Look the other way” or ignore illegal activities, and 3) The police or politicians or judges can allow the drug agent to “escape” if he is captured. These three services are ranked in terms of risk, and therefore probable reward for the police. It is very difficult to track the transfer of information, and giving an occasional warning is probably almost impossible to spot. Nevertheless, the police should be very careful about the internal flow of information, and if a police action fails, it should be recorded who was aware of the action beforehand. Looking the other way is more obvious, but police can always fall back on the excuse that they are inept, busy etc. In other words, it may be bad for their reputations, but it is not likely to send them to jail. Finally letting a prisoner “escape”, (even if it involves them paying a large face-saving amount of bail), can ruin the career of a judge or policeman, so it needs a lot of compensation. Probably only the most profitable drug lords can afford this sort of protection. Amphetamines and Heroin The supply network for amphetamines and heroin is essentially the same, since most amphetamine production is currently by producers who used to produce heroin and then switched because of the superior profitability of amphetamines. Therefore these two drugs will be considered together, except in a few cases where it is necessary to differentiate them. 84 Figure 3.1 People Supported by the Amphetamine Drug Industry Place Drug Location Physical Control Ownership China --- Producers of Precursors Producer (transit) --- Couriers Burmese Drug Lords Burmese Factory Factory Employees at Factory Burmese Drug Lords (transit) On Foot or Car Drug Runners Military Escorts Robbers Burmese Drug Lords Border Town In Ground Warehouse Sales Representative Drug Storage (transit) Car or Pickup Hired Transporter/ Independent Burmese Drug Lords/ Border Wholesaler Large Wholesaler/ Burmese Drug Lords/ Independent Large Wholesaler Rented House Underlings Large Wholesaler (transit) Drop Location Underlings Medium Wholesaler Medium Wholesaler Rented Apartment Medium Wholesaler (transit) Drop Location Small Wholesaler Small Wholesaler In Home, or Hidden Small Wholesaler (transit) Handoff Retailer Retailer Hidden, or On person Retailer (transit) Handoff User User On person User In addition it is hypothesized that police or military are involved as informants, or are paid to look the other way, through all the more profitable levels of the drug supply chain. This would include the production through large wholesaler levels and probably medium wholesalers as well. 85 Alternative Pathways At several stages there are thought to be multiple pathways. In border towns drugs may be sold either by an agent of a Burmese drug lord, or by a local wholesaler acting on his own behalf. Drugs transported to Bangkok are probably carried by either hired help (hired by either Burmese drug lords or by large wholesalers in Bangkok), and also by independent operators who sell the drug to wholesalers in Bangkok. Finally medium sized wholesalers in Bangkok may buy drugs either through a large wholesaler, or directly from those who transport drugs from the north. Producers Production of the amphetamines used in Thailand takes place mostly in northeast Burma, near the Thai border. Much of this production takes place in the Burmese part of the golden triangle to the north of Thailand. This area has long been famous for the production of heroin. Over the last five years, many drug producers in the area have switched to producing amphetamines because it is cheaper and easier to producer, sells for about the same price, and therefore is much more profitable. There are still a number of heroin factories in the area however. The Burmese part of the Golden Triangle was controlled by Khun Sa until his surrender in 1996, and now is controlled most prominently by the United Wa State Army due to a cease-fire agreement with the Burmese government. Within the Wa there are four big drug producers, each with a number of small factories. These four groups each have their own geographical area of control. The biggest producers are the Wei brothers of the Red Wa. Other big producers include Ar-toh who owns 10-15 factories, Chao Surai, a former Burmese eastern army commander and associate of Khun Sa, and Arjuka, who used to work for Ar-toh, but left to set up his own operations. The fact that Khun Sa was quickly replaced by other drug lords suggests that the arrest of a drug lord will generally have only very short term effects on the supply of the drug. When Khun Sa left the business, the means of production were still all in place. To replace the management was really quite a simple step. Actually the means of production are also fairly simple and easy to replicate; it is the distribution network and human capital that might be difficult to replicate. Therefore, seeking the capture of the biggest drug pins will probably have little effect on illegal drug supply. Khun Sa, by the way, is living a carefully watched, but luxurious, life in Rangoon. The golden triangle area is fairly militarized, with some producers controlling their own small well-equipped armies. Because of a agreement with the Burmese government, there is not a lot of government control. Besides the armies of the big producers there are also several gangs that specialize in extortion of existing producers and traffickers. There are also mercenaries from China for hire to help guard drug caravans. Despite the military presence, there does not seem to be a lot of aggression between the competing producers. Different groups control different regional areas in the golden triangle, in an arrangement that has been stable for four or five years now. Production of amphetamines is not limited to big warlords; there are a number of small producers and traffickers belonging to other tribes. Production of amphetamines is 86 also not limited to Burma. It is quite easy to produce amphetamines, and a number of independent operators certainly exist, including inside of Thailand, and in Laos. Four or five years ago a lot of production of amphetamines occurred in the central region of Thailand. It was mainly diligent enforcement that drove amphetamine production outside of the country. Factories have moved from larger scale to smaller scale, temporary facilities. Smaller scale factories are much easier to disguise and move. They require less startup cost, and therefore have made the production level more competitive. For big producers, small factories minimize their losses if they are destroyed by government troops, so all producers have incentives to reduce size. It is estimated that 80 percent of amphetamines enter Thailand from Burma, while the other 20 percent comes from Laos. Generally the Laos route is much less organized and professional.40 For the most part, methamphetamines are no longer produced inside of Thailand, although an occasional producer surely slips through. (A recent raid revealed a stash of 5,000,000 domestically produced methamphetamines in Bangkok.) This is similar to the case for the other drugs. Thailand has a fairly aggressive drug control program, while many of its neighbors operate with much less control. In a regional meeting in the spring of 1999 between Laos, Thailand and Burma, the representative from Burma emphasized that all major seizures of amphetamines in Burma had been made in the northern Shan province, which is controlled by the United Wa State Army. Border Runners Evidence from the border suggests that many of those transporting drugs belong to a variety of hill tribes, indigenous to the area. Although many different hill tribes are involved in the transportation of drugs, it is thought that the Hmong may play a particularly significant role in organizing the trade because of their superior organizational ability. Amphetamines and Heroin are transported by foot and sometimes by car along the mountainous terrain on the Thai-Burmese border. Some drugs are transported in specially engineered cars. Groups on foot are usually escorted or consist of heavily armed militants. One disturbing fact is that attacks on border patrols and armed confrontations have tended to be well organized and thought out, suggesting a sophisticated army network consistent with hired mercenaries or members of the United Wa State Army. It does not fit well with the concept of unorganized hill tribe runners. As is true for all links in the supply chain, drugs usually change hands by being hidden by one party, and picked up by another. Drugs are stored in many hill tribe villages, often in the ground.41 Border Towns Drugs in border towns are owned either by drug lords from Burma, or by local wholesalers who buy from them. The drugs are hidden, often in the ground, but sometimes in warehouses, until an agent of the drug lord or the local wholesaler makes a sale. They are then transferred to the buyer through a drop location. Members of hill ”War on drug traffickers stepped up in Loei,” The Nation, August 12, 1999 Bangkok Post, January 12, 2000, “Illicit drug consumption doubles,” The Nation, December 22, 1998 40 41 87 tribes are often involved as runners, custodians of hidden drugs, and go-betweens in this trade. It is not clear that all drugs change ownership in border towns. In particular it has been noted that many Burmese have been arrested in the process of transporting drugs south, suggesting that some drugs may not change ownership until they reach the wholesaler in Bangkok (or in many other cities in Thailand). Drug towns are alive with the drug trade. In a small town are found couriers, wholesalers, visiting buyers, and police trying to suppress the trade. Transporters It is fairly easy to buy drugs in large quantities in the north of the country. Evidence suggests that drugs are transported by many different individuals acting either independently on their own behalf, or as hired agents on the behalf of different agents in Bangkok, or even in Burma. The distance from the border to Bangkok is about 700 kilometers. Evidence for drugs being transported directly by Burmese drug lords includes one story in which a pair of drug transporters claimed that they were hired to pick up drugs at a factory in Burma and deliver them directly to Bangkok, in exchange for about 3 baht a tablet. In other cases drugs may be bought by Thai wholesalers who hire transporters to get the drugs to Bangkok. These are probably the bigger, better organized wholesalers in Bangkok. Then there are many independent operators who buy drugs in border towns and sell them again in Bangkok. This sort of trade requires agents to have sufficient capital or credit, but is probably fairly profitable and quite risky. Finally there are traffickers from other countries who buy drugs in border towns, transport them to Bangkok, then take them to another country via the airport. Besides the central location of Thailand and the good international connections, traffickers are thought to like Thailand because Thai authorities tend to be more lenient in punishment, as opposed to Malaysia and Singapore where drug dealers face death automatically.42 In all there are probably many separate routes and transporters to Bangkok, employing many different methods of concealing drugs. Therefore this step of the supply chain is quite competitive, with prices mostly reflecting the risks to safety and capital inherent in moving drugs. Thai police estimate that there are about 5,000 drug laden trucks on the roads in Thailand each day. Large Wholesalers It is thought that there are several large drug wholesalers in Bangkok, with turnovers from 100,000 tablets a week to perhaps as many as 100,000 tablets a day. Large wholesalers might typically sell drugs in units of 5-10,000 tablets to medium wholesalers. They probably have a sophisticated supply network from the north with 42 “Gov’t beefs up ONCB to curb drug abuse,” The Nation, September 10, 1998 88 shipments at least weekly or bi-weekly. These large scale operators are well established with powerful connections in the police and politics, and are very difficult to capture. Evidence suggests that large wholesalers are geographically separated from each other43, so are not involved in direct competition. There are also many independent operators bringing drugs from the north, so that a medium wholesaler will potentially have a number of sources of supply. (In spite of having many choices, the wholesaler will likely be loyal to a single supplier, unless the price of the outsider is quite different). This competition acts as a force to keep price down. At this time, the distribution of amphetamines and heroin is quite decentralized, and competition from independent operators from the north keep the prices for large wholesalers in check. At present there are no reports of violence between the operations of large wholesalers, or on the part of large wholesalers against independents. It is thought that the low level of conflict is partly the result of a rapidly expanding market, in which it is better to expand to new customers, then fight over existing ones. If this trend changes it will be quite unfortunate for Bangkok. Medium Wholesalers Medium wholesalers might have a weekly turnover of 10,000 tablets. They will typically sell drugs in units of 200 tablets to a variety of small wholesalers, and will probably not do much, if any, retail trade. They will probably buy a weekly supply from either a large wholesaler, or from an independent operator bringing drugs from the north. They will do much of their own business, including handling drugs themselves, but will make wide use of drop locations, will likely have several helpers to at least deliver drugs, and will have places to store drugs outside of their home, perhaps in a rented apartment. They probably have some connections to the police on a local level, and may pay them off to look the other way. Drug lords thrive on legal gaps.44 Adult drug traffickers often avoid risking the death penalty by hiring children to deliver or sell drugs. The number of children arrested on drug-related charges has skyrocketed since the government imposed the death penalty for amphetamine users and traders in 1996. Children as young as five are hired to sell or distribute the drug for 50-100 baht ($1.33-2.67 ) a job. Children under seven are not subject to penalty for any crime in Thailand. Small Wholesalers Small wholesalers might have a weekly turnover of 1,000 tablets or more. They sell tablets to retailers in units of less than a pack (200 tablets) as per the need of the retailer. Selling amphetamines in units of 10 tablets seems common. Small wholesalers also are involved directly in the retail trade. A serious drug user (not a seller) will likely buy directly from the small wholesaler in units of ten or twenty because the price will be better. Small wholesalers will also sell individual tablets, but at a higher price. Retailers Retailers are often drug addicts who sell drugs to support their habit. They might typically sell 50 tablets a day, but this will vary quite a bit. Certainly new kids selling 43 44 In particular, in Nontaburi, Khlong Toei, and Samut Prakhan “Drug lords thrive on legal gaps,” The Nation, August 31, 1998 89 drugs might just sell 10-20 a day, while those who are well established could sell quite a lot more. Competition at this level is quite intense with some markets, such as schools, having a great number of sellers. In those markets, prices are kept on the low end of the retail price range. Other markets with fewer sellers will support a higher retail price. There is a lot of price discrimination in the drug market. Retailers may sell to regular customers at cheaper prices. They may sell at different prices in different locations. Since secrecy is so important, they can even sell to each customer at a different price. This is often reflected in higher prices for customers who the seller thinks do not know the market price. Because drugs are sold using direct sales, which implies a personal relationship, and because secrecy is important to the buyer, each seller is likely to have some regular loyal customers. This keeps the market from becoming concentrated in the hands of only a few agents. Competition at this level is based on personality. It should be noted that the need for secrecy is what makes direct selling so ubiquitous in the market for illegal drugs. This acts as a force towards keeping the market dispersed, with many sellers raising costs, and therefore prices to retail customers. Credit Modalities Credit may be extended at nearly every level of the drug supply chain. Usually newcomers need to prepare enough cash for the initial purchase(s). Once the supplier from the level above begins to trust the customer, credit may be extended. Two exceptions are: 1) At the border, where foreign suppliers and independent traffickers are in contact, transactions seem always to be done in cash. 2) At the lowest retail levels, where traffickers use children as agents, credit may be extended from the very start. At all other levels, it is desirable to sell drugs in large volume and as quickly as possible to shorten carrying time/ risk to the seller, so their are significant incentives to provide credit. At the retail level, the use of children as runners and pushers is greatly aided by extending credit, since these youngsters do not have access to startup money. Credit may also be extended to other newcomers to the retail drug trade as an incentive. Initially, the new seller who does not enough money to invest, will work as a sales representative. Usually the commission will be twenty per cent of the drug sale volume. (So the representative can receive twenty percent of the tablets free and sell them for his own account, or use them.) This process continues until the new dealer accumulates enough money to buy drugs independently, or has a large volume of sales under his control. At this stage he will work independently and a regular credit arrangement can be made. Credit is also provided between different wholesaler levels, and when the drugs are first delivered to Bangkok. Credit terms that require payment after one week are prevalent among medium and small wholesalers, with a similar waiting period - only the investment will be in cash – thereafter they are eligible for credit. Other Drugs Mostly ecstasy and cocaine is brought to Thailand in small batches by people travelling overseas. It is then sold only to friends in a closed circle, which makes it very 90 hard to track once it is across the border. Nevertheless, it is available to a limited extent on the open market, and this is likely to increase, as Burmese production of ecstasy increases in coming years. There is a lot of interest in Burma in producing ecstasy for the Thai market. Some ecstasy is already being produced, and that is likely to increase significantly in coming years. Burmese producers are also considering the production of other high class and designer drugs.45 Presumably the organizational structure and distribution for these new drugs will be the same as for amphetamines and heroin. High class drugs are sold in high class districts such as Silom, Sukhumvit and Ratchadapidsek, and sold particularly at clubs which is the main venue for their use. Sellers are seldom arrested since they come from high class families with lots of connections, and if they are arrested they may be able to get off. They do not perceive themselves to be criminals. The most famous drug case of 1998 involved a German who was reputed to be involved in drug smuggling, including these high class drugs from Europe. In his case he used a luxury yacht to transport the drug. Most other imports are thought to be in small batches. This seems to be an example of small scale is better since it draws less attention to itself. The German was eventually forbidden to enter Thailand. In general, Thailand has been reasonably successful at expelling drug lords, but not successful in punishing them. Barriers to Entry Current Situation Generally Thailand is not a very violent country. Elections are accompanied by little or no violence. Bangkok has few areas where it is not safe for a man or even a woman to walk at night. Even then, the risk would be more of robbery than threats to one’s life. (One exception is a tradition of assassination of competing businessmen!) Therefore it bears watching how the expansion of drug markets will bring violence into the Thai culture. Although drug related arrests are growing very rapidly, violence associated with drugs is still very limited. Nevertheless it does occasionally occur. The recession has also made conditions worse for everyone, and has led to more crime, but interestingly most of it is from drug possession charges. It is estimated that crime increased by 20 percent due to the recession, at the same time that police budget had to be reduced. Nevertheless, the incidence of robbery and larceny is low and has not incurred. As reported in the demand section of this report, drug-related incarcerations in Thailand make up a large share of the total, with arrests related to illegal drugs representing about 53 percent of all those currently in Thai jails, and 69 percent of those in jail in Bangkok.. Most of these arrests are for possession or selling, not for any violent act. 45 ONCB, 1998-99 Annual report, “Heavy drug traffic,” Bangkok Post, January 10, 1999 91 Reasons for Violence We can hypothesize that drug-related violence occurs most often for the following reasons: Violence between rival suppliers If the industrial organization is such that there are a few powerful competitors at some level of the supply chain it is likely that violence will ensue. There is little evidence of this sort of violence in Thailand. Violence between different levels of the supply chain There are informal contracts between different levels of the drug supply chain. Those contracts mostly concern issues such as financing and delivery. Because of the illicit nature of the business, contracts cannot be drawn up formally. Agents also do not have recourse to the legal system to settle disputes. For this reason, if a conflict arises, often it may be solved through violence. The potential for violence is particularly acute when credit is extended. Credit may be necessary if the selling agents do not have the money to buy the drug they are supposed to sell, so instead sell the drug on commission. If something happens to the drug, there may be a disagreement over who should incur the risk and loss. This conflict is exacerbated by the fact that the supplier can never be sure whether the seller is cheating on him. If cheating is suspected, violence may be used to forestall such behavior among other sellers. There are a few stories reporting this sort of violence. One story in the Thai press tells of a man who had his ear cut off when he was not able to pay 6000 baht ($150) for amphetamine drugs he was selling on commission to construction workers. He was caught while selling the drugs so he could not pay back his debt. 46 In 1999 there were at least three separate killings involving Chinese gangs.47 In one case three Hong Kong men were killed in a field near the airport. In another case, two Chinese and three Thais were arrested for the slaying of a Macao man. These cases were thought to be related to drugs, and to the fact that Thailand is a major transit country for heroin smuggling. Violence to obtain money to buy drugs Drug addicts need a lot of money to buy drugs every day. A dose of amphetamine or heroin costs about 100 baht, about half of what an honest worker would make in a day. Often serious addicts may consume as much as 10 or more doses in a day. Furthermore, most drug addicts do not have a regular job, since the most common status of drug addicts are as students or the unemployed. Selling drugs is one way out of this dilemma, stealing is another. Generally armed robbery is quite rare in Bangkok and Thailand, but petty theft is a possibility. One article reports the story is of a 14 year-old boy who was addicted to solvents, and “stole everything in sight” to support his habit, and eventually was charged with 46 47 “Drugs gang amputates man’s ear,” The Nation, March 3, 1998 ”Police step up war on foreign gangs,” The Nation, November 26, 1999 92 killing a college student.48 This example does not seem to be a usual case, as it is quite possible this boy had mental illness. Also solvents are quite cheap compared to illegal drugs, so the story doesn’t hold together very well. Although it seems quite plausible that robbery could be used to support a drug lifestyle, it does not often seem to be the case in this country. Violence as a result of using drugs (Crazed behavior) The most common reports of violence related to drugs in Thai newspapers refer to crazed behavior by addicts under the influence of a drug. This goes along with the Thai name for the drug, Yaa Baa, which means “crazy drug”. In January of 1999 a “drugcrazed’ man held hostage and then killed a two year old after smoking three amphetamine tablets and drinking half a bottle of liquor. He said he experienced hallucinations and paranoid feelings. In December of 1999, another “drug-crazed” man got into the parliament building and ran to a group of newspaper reporters, screaming that he and some friends were involved in a gigantic domestic amphetamine production ring. When police followed up on his report they found 5,000,000 amphetamine tablets in his house along with lots of drug making equipment. This individual was reported as being “apparently on drugs,” but given the gang he was in with, may have been trying to get adequate police protection by becoming a media sensation. Another form of reported but unintentional violence is the report of traffic accidents attributed to overuse of amphetamines by truck drivers. The argument goes that truck drivers use amphetamines to increase the number of hours they can drive. They then fall asleep at the wheel, resulting in terrible traffic accidents. There is a peculiar logic to this argument, since the amphetamines are used to keep the driver awake. One might as well blame coffee for traffic accidents, or extol the virtues of warm milk in preventing them. It seems to make more sense to more fully regulate the hours truck drivers can work. Nevertheless it is commonly believed that amphetamines are a source of traffic accidents, and the government uses this as a reason for suppressing them. (Incidentally, official police records do not indicate a relationship between traffic accidents and amphetamines.) Violence by Police In late 1996 and early 1997 a number of extra-judicial killings occurred (perhaps as many as 15) involving suspected amphetamine producers. In the most infamous case, six supposed traffickers were shot to death after having been captured and handcuffed! There was a public outcry at the time, and since that time this behavior has not been repeated. About that time the production of amphetamines moved to Burma, and fortunately the violence went with it. Border Regions It should be emphasized that although very little drug related violence is reported in Bangkok, drug-related violence in border regions is an extremely serious problem. Attacks occur when police confront drug runners trying to cross the border, or when villagers stumble on drug operations by accident. This violence stems in part from the 48 “Disturbing questions raised by ‘the boy’,” The Nation, December 30, 1998 93 level of violence existing in Burmese border regions where hill tribe groups have been in armed combat with the Burmese government for many years. This provides a supply of very highly trained militants who can provide armed escorts to drug convoys across the border. There are also reports of mercenaries hired from China who defend drug convoys. The problem has become very serious for the Thai police, with many casualties in organized attacks and ambushes. They have called in the military to help, and are now putting together a special force to counterattack these well armed militias in what they are now referring to as a “war”. Corruption It is thought that wholesalers protect their territory though connections to the police. In exchange for bribes to high level officials at the police office, the police essentially give them sole rights over a territory. If another wholesaler tries to move in on that territory, the first dealer investigates, then reports the facts to the police, who then arrest the new dealer for possession or selling. Interesting this de facto “licensing” of a territory may reduce violence stemming from competition between wholesalers, benefiting almost all parties. Police have less work, wholesalers do not have to arm themselves, and civilians do not have to endure violent behavior. At the highest levels, drug wholesalers are almost immune from prosecution. In 1998, the police tried to arrest one reputedly influential dealer. The police surrounded a house used by this person. After a shootout with police, in which several police were wounded by gunfire and hand grenades, and one of the drug dealers was killed, the police entered the house to discover that the key dealer and two other associates had managed to escape. The other three were arrested, and after a thorough search of the house, 758,000 amphetamine pills were found under the cage of several bears in the basement (to hide the scent from sniffer dogs), and 1.3 million baht ($35,000), and records of trafficking activity, contacts, and other business transactions were found in a safe. The house also contained military weapons. The case was treated as the big bust of the year by the press, but a few days later all three suspects were released “for lack of evidence.” It was claimed that the one gang member who was killed was the one who had done all the shooting. The influential individual, who is still at large, was thought to control an amphetamines syndicate worth 500 million baht ($13.3 million). As the investigation proceeded he was found to have “friendships” with many police officers. Several influential police officials were found to be driving luxury cars such as Mercedes that the individual had “lent” to them. It is alleged that military helicopters were used to transport drugs for this syndicate, with the drugs packed in 200-liter oil drums, dumped in strategic places during army training missions.49 Although higher level drug traffickers are thought to be nearly free from the risk of prosecution, small wholesalers and retailers are more frequently caught. Nevertheless small wholesalers frequently also pay for police protection. The going rate seems to be about 5,000 baht ($130) a month. Of this amount, the local police officer will pass a percentage on to his superiors. “Drug suspect wants to surrender,” The Nation, October 22 and “Top officials linked to drug ring,” The Nation, October 29, 1998 49 94 Another common form of corruption, is the agreement between the police and the suspect to reduce the number of tablets claimed to have been found on the suspect. In this way the suspect will get a lighter sentence, and the police will get tablets to either sell, or use as bait in other operations.50 A bribe may be required for this reduction in charges to occur. In one interview, we were told that the convict might have been allowed to go free if he had paid 20,000 baht. Wages and Labor Supply The following section will focus on amphetamines, which is the dominant drug at this time and will be indicative of profits of participants in each drug market. Unemployment and the Market for Drugs Thailand is currently emerging from a recession. Before the recession unemployment was very low at around 2 and a half percent. The recession threw many people out of work and many of them are still in that state. That is because employment is a lagging indicator – meaning that unemployment will be highest near the end of a recession. Unemployment is probably still only about 5 percent, making it much less of a problem than in many other countries in the world, but it is still a problem. All sorts of marginal forms of employment have had to absorb a significant increase in participants. Complaints are commonly heard by taxi drivers, food vendors, etc., of excess competition, and the story is the same with drug sellers. There are stories that there are many more drug sellers now then there were a few years ago. The recession also had effects on the demand side of the market, but they are less clear cut. On the one hand, the recession increased the unemployed, one of the core user groups. On the other hand, it decreased disposable income, reducing demand, and putting downward pressure on prices. The net effect seems to have been to put downward pressure on prices, with drugs in the poorest areas (i.e. greatest number of sellers, and least disposable income) may sell for as low as 50 baht a tablet. Profit Margins for Participants in the Drug Market . The following table gives average markups between each level of the supply chain for each drug, and is based on the information in section 3.2. Table 3.12: Price in Baht per Tablet of Methamphetamine Drug Precursors Border Methamphetamines, 1 tablet 3-5 12-20 Bangkok, Wholesale, e.g. 200 pills 30-40 Bangkok, Wholesale, e.g. 10 pills 50-70 Bangkok, Retail 80-120 Source: Various sources, compiled by the author/ ”Classrooms turned into drug dens,” The Nation, August 22, 1999; NAP doubts fair play in drug case,” The Nation, August 6, 1999 50 95 Table 3.13: Profit in Baht for Some Drug Supply Participants per Tablet of Methamphetamine Volume Precursor Cost Producer 1 tablet 5 10 Border Town Wholesaler 5 Transport to Bangkok Medium Wholesaler Small Wholesaler Bangkok Retail 10 10-20 10-20-30 10-20- 3040-50 Source: Various sources, compiled by the author/ Volume for Participants in the Drug Market Wages or returns for people in the drug market depend on two factors, profit margins and volume. From section 3.6.2 we can estimate the markup in drug prices at each level, but we need volume levels to translate these figures into total profits or wages. Alternately we can look at reports of the income or net worth of captured drug participants and work backward to find volume and profit data. Table 3.14: Volume Estimates for Some Amphetamine Supply Participants Runner’s Producer Transport to Large Commission Bangkok Wholesaler Tablets 10,00010 million 30,000100,000 500,000 -2M /year 50,000 /week /trip /per trip Sources: Volume and profit margin accounts come from a collection accounts.51 Volume Medium Wholesaler 10,000 /week Small Wholesaler 1,000 /week Bangkok Retail 20-50100 /day of newspaper articles and personal Wages for Participants in the Drug Market Table 3.15: Wages for Participants in the Drug Market Participant Tablets/ Year Producers Profit per tablet 8 10 Million Yearly Salary (B) 80 Million Yearly Salary ($) $2,100,000 Border Runner Sales Agents Border Wholesaler 1-2 1 3 2 Million 3.6 Million 2 Million 2 Million 3.6 Million 6 Million $53,000 $94,000 $160,000 Paid Transporter Independent Transporter Large Wholesaler 2-3 2 10 2 5-10 500,000 500,000 5 Million 1,250,000 2,500,000 38 Million $32,000 $66,000 $1,000,000 Medium Wholesaler 6-8 500,000 3,000,000 $80,000 Other Expenses Militia, Police, Informants Handlers, Police, Storage Guards, Police, Handlers, Storage, Politicians Local Police, Handlers Local Police Small Wholesaler 10-20 50,000 800,000 $20,000 Retailer 10-20-40 15,000 280,000 $9,000 Source: Compiled from various sources by the author (see the following supporting sections) These are very rough estimates meant to be indicative rather than authoritative. The volume figures are most suspect. Some of these sources include: ”Teenagers fall under drug cloud,” The Nation, August 31, 1998; “Drug dealers killing innocence,” Bangkok Post, August 23, 1999; “Classrooms turned into drug dens,” August 22, 1999 51 96 Producers In the Mae Sai area there are about ten factories, which together provide 8 million amphetamines tablets to Thailand a month. Over the period of a year this is about 100 million tablets, which divided by ten factories makes about ten million tablets per factory per year. The cost of production is estimated to be about 5 baht per tablet, and the owner must also pay for a broker, 1 baht a tablet, for drug runners, another 2-3 baht, and for other loaders, couriers, etc, say another 2 baht. The price in Mae Sai at this time was 18 baht per tablet, leaving about 8 baht per tablet profit for the owner. Eight times ten million is 80 million baht ($2.1 million) a year per factory. Of course the owner might still need to pay a military contingent, etc.52 Border Runners/ Military Escorts/ Custodians of Hidden Drugs Generally border runners are paid about 1-2 baht per tablet to take the drug across the border. In Mae Sai they were supposedly paid 2-3 baht per tablet, but this may include other services such as watching over hidden drugs, or delivering them to the drop zone. We are told that originally drug runners would carry about 10,000 tablets at a time, which would only be about 1 kg of weight. Payment would be 20-30,000 baht. Nowadays they carry about 500,000 tablets at a time, about 50 kg, which clearly means they work in groups of two or three. If there are 3 of them, that would make a payment of 400,000 each ($10,500). In another story, eight armed militants fought with police while trying to cross the border with 2 million amphetamine tablets. If payment is 1 baht per tablet, that would make payment per person to be about 250,000 baht ($6,600). If these groups made 8 trips a year, yearly payment would be 2,000,000 baht ($53,000) a year. Sales Brokers Sales brokers arrange for sales from drug lords to Thai agents. Their job is only to arrange a sale, not delivery. In Mae Sai, on the Burmese border, brokers were paid 1 baht per tablet provided orders were for at least 10,000 tablets. If we assume that a order would typically be 30,000-50,000, a typical car load, profit for the broker would be 30,000 to 50,000 baht ($800-1,300) an order. We are also told that 8 million drugs pass through Mae Sai a month, that there are about twenty such brokers, and that they can be recognized because they get rich very quickly. If all drugs are sold through brokers, this would represent 400,000 baht per month per broker, or 3,600,000 baht ($94,000) a year. Local Wholesaler Wholesalers can buy drugs from producers for about 12-15 baht a tablet. Assuming their costs are about two baht a tablet (Warehousing, loading, etc) and they sell for 18 baht, that would make a profit of about 3 baht per tablet. Again drugs are probably sold by the car load, or 30,000 to 50,000 tablets, and profit would be 90,000 to 150,000 baht ($2,400-4,000) a load. Paid Transporter Paid transporters always travel in pairs, perhaps to keep an eye on each other, or perhaps one is the seller and the other the driver. Reports suggest that a trip might pay them 200,000 baht, or 100,000 baht ($2,600) each. That works out to about 2-3 baht per tablet each. The difference in price on the border and in Bangkok is about 10 baht, of which half goes to the paid transporters, and the other half to the hiring party. If the paid transporters make a trip a month they would each make 1.2 million baht ($32,000) a year. 52 ”Traffickers speed up inflow of amphetamine,” Bangkok Post, November 9, 1997 97 Independent Transporter If the price in a border town is about twenty baht per tablet, and the price in Bangkok is about thirty baht a tablet, total profit for the independent transporter is 10 times 30,000 to 50,000 or 300,000 to 500,000 ($8,000-13,000) per trip. At a price of 20 baht a tablet, this is a profit margin of 50 percent. If the independent makes a trip a month, yearly income would be 3.6 million to 6 million ($95,000-158,000) a year. Large Wholesalers If large wholesalers handle 100,000 tablets a week, and make a profit of between 5 and 10 baht per tablet, that would make a yearly total of 26 – 52 million ($700,0001,400,000) a year. If they handle 100,000 tablets a day they would make 180 – 350 million ($5 million-10 million) a year before expenses. Medium Wholesalers If a medium wholesaler handles 10,000 tablets a week, and makes a profit of from 10 to 20 baht per tablet, weekly profit would be 100,000-200,000 baht ($2,600-5,200). In an interview we found one medium wholesaler who ran a business with a friend. One of them would collect the money, and the other would deliver the drug to a drop point. Selling a little less than 10,000 baht a week, they each made a weekly profit of about 30,000-40,000 baht ($800-1050), which works out to about 1.5 million-2 million baht ($40,000-53,000) per year. Small Wholesalers If a small wholesaler handles about 1,000 tablets a week, and makes a profit of 10-20 baht per tablet, weekly profit would be between 10,000 – 20,000 baht. Assuming average values, we suppose weekly profits are about 15,000 baht ($400), for a yearly total of about 800,000 baht ($20,000). Retailers If a retailer sells about 300 tablets a week, at a profit of about 20 baht apiece, weekly profits would be 6,000 baht ($158), or 857 baht ($23) a day. In our survey, we found a slightly lower number. On average, user/sellers made an average of 773 baht ($20) a day or 5,400 baht ($142) a week or 280,000 baht ($7,400). Of this amount, drug users spent a total of 564 baht ($15) a day on drugs for personal use. Over a year that would mean they would net 280,000 baht minus 205,000 baht, or 75,000 baht ($2,000) a year. This is about the same amount an unskilled worker would make at a real job, but they have an easier life (until they are caught) and they get to take drugs. Wages over time Although it is believed that salaries for participants in the drug trade are linked to wages in the overall labor market, especially at the lower retail and small wholesaler levels, there has been little change in wage rates for the labor market as a whole which would us allow to study this relationship over time. Unemployment has risen since the 1997 recession, and prices of illegal drugs have fallen squeezing margins at the retail level. This suggests that the drug labor market is linked to the overall labor market in a usual fashion. 98 Why Do People Deal Drugs? The most common route into the business side of the drug market is moving up from being a user to being a seller to being a wholesaler. The process takes a number of years, typically 1 to 2 years to become a seller and another 2 or 3 to become a wholesaler, and most people do not make the leap to wholesaler. Clearly not everyone has their life together enough and has the business skills to enter the business side of drugs. (After all, they were likely unemployed before in a country with quite low unemployment.) Economics are the chief motivation. Drug addicts need a way to finance their habit. As their habit builds from one or two tablets to the ten or more a long term addict needs to get high, using drugs becomes prohibitively expensive. Typically a retail level seller is not looking for a profitable return so much as to support his or her (usually his) growing habit. Suppose a legal job might pay 150 - 250 baht ($4.00 - $6.57) a day, and each amphetamine table costs 80 –100 baht ($2.10 – $2.63) . Working full time (10-12 hours) only allows the addict to buy about two pills. Selling drugs is both a high risk, and therefore high return job, and it gets the addict the drugs he needs. Selling drugs is also a profession in which the drug addict has some expertise. If you yourself were given ten amphetamine pills to sell, you would likely not be able to do it. The drug addict has the marketing intelligence, the legal knowledge (what are the current limits of the law juristically, logistically, and geographically), and the connections to do his job well. “Nat” sold amphetamine tablets for 70 baht each, and could keep 20 baht for himself. Doing this he could make 500 – 800 baht a day and get drugs for himself as well. This works out to sales of between 25 and 40 pills a day. Sales, he said, depended on the number of other dealers at the same location, and the kinds of pills he had to sell.53 Other testimonials suggest that sales of from 20 to 50 pills a day are common at the retail level for a profit of 700 a day assuming the addict does not use any of the profits for his own habit54. That is a big assumption, and it is more likely that most drug sellers make very small profits after paying for their drugs. The next jump to becoming a wholesaler is more difficult because it requires a capital investment. This step is facilitated by an intermediate step where the seller might buy a pack of 200 pills a day and resell them 20 at a time to lower level dealers. The capital required for 200 tablets would not be too impossible, and with a profit of perhaps 10 baht per tablet, could quickly be recouped. It is probably these different levels of wholesalers that account for the variability in Bangkok wholesale prices. This level is probably particularly dangerous in terms of getting caught, however, since the seller does not make enough to hire other people to take on the risk of handling the drug. The dealer is still handling a lot of drugs personally. Further up the supply chain, dealers probably seldom handle drugs themselves, relying on hired runners to store and bring the drug from supplier to customer. The wholesaler level is much more profitable than the retail level, but it also requires a significant capital investment. The wholesaler might also buy drugs in the “Confessions of a young yaa baa addict,” Bangkok Post, March 16, 1997 Our survey results find the average profit of a seller/user to be 780 baht per day, but of that the seller uses 560 baht on drugs for personal use! 53 54 99 north and transport them, or hire someone to transport them, to Bangkok which requires at least one car. This is a big leap for an unemployed drug addict from the Bangkok slums. Therefore it seems likely that recruits into the wholesale level are much more likely to come from other sources, such as people who have already made money in other illegal activities such as gambling, people who are familiar with the police, or people who are associated with the production side. It is also possible that capital might come from very influential people but it would be very well hidden, and the most we would likely to see is some inappropriate influence exerted to protect underlings. Another possibility is that a drug seller might become a drug runner. Typically drug runners earn a baht or two (2 – 5 cents) per tablet to bring drugs from one place to another. If the distance or risk is greater, this might be a little higher. Two captured runners who were hired to bring drugs from a Burmese village to a dealer in Bangkok were given 200,000 baht ($5,200) to transport 72,000 tablets. This is about 3 baht (7 cents) per tablet, but it is about a one day trip. One problem is that the dealer and supplier must have a lot of trust in the runner, which means they might often be relatives, or people who have been close to the family for some time. Sometimes people get involved in the selling of drugs at the retail level for reasons other addiction. Many families in the slums get into debt for an outside reason, such as a sick family member, a gambling debt, housing, or any number of other reasons. Usually the debt will be to a local loan shark at a high rate of interest. In order to pay off the debt, the family may take on a high risk, high return activity like selling drugs. There are also stories of loan sharks who take advantage of their debtors by requiring them to work in the drug industry in their employ. This may include requiring underage children to act as drug carriers within the slum. “I don’t think there’s a single family in the areas I visit which is totally free from debt,” said one social worker55 In another study, only 21 percent of slum dwellers said they were able to make regular payments on their outstanding debts, while another 55 percent said they could make only occasional payments. 55 Nongluk Panthong, in ”Breaking out of a vicious circle,” The Nation, October 6, 1999 100 Conclusions and Policy Recommendations Supply Supply of Drugs From Outside Bangkok It is extremely difficult to control the flow of drugs into Thailand and into Bangkok. Thailand is facing a constant onslaught of illegal amphetamines and heroin, mostly from Burma. Although efforts to control drug supply should not be abandoned, further efforts should address the demand side. Thailand is virtually surrounded by countries which produce illegal drugs, which are much poorer than itself, and which have many fewer resources to fight illegal drugs. Thailand shares a land border of 1,800 kilometres with Burma, 1,800 kilometres with Laos, and another 800 kilometers with Cambodia. Beyond Burma, Yunan Province, China is only 100 kilometres away. Surrounding countries produce substantial quantities of illegal drugs. Burma is the largest producer of illegal amphetamines in South-East Asia, using precursors from China. Burma and Laos are the second and third largest producers of opium in the world, after Afghanistan. Cambodia and Laos both produce substantial marijuana crops. Thai production of opium, amphetamines and marijuana are inconsequential in world terms. The Office of the Narcotics Control Board, with support from the United States, and a number of other countries has done a fairly good job of controlling the production and transport of drugs, precursors and raw materials through Thailand. Bangkok is gradually losing its traditional role as a hub for the transport of illegal drugs. Although a significant amount of heroin still comes through Bangkok, transport through China is increasingly the route of choice. Relatively strict enforcement compared to its neighbors has reduced the desirability of Bangkok. Drug traffickers have responded by switching to alternate supply routes through the surrounding countries, especially China, but also Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In other words, the effect of increasing enforcement in one country is to switch to using another country. It does no good to blame the Burmese government for the inflow of drugs when the problem is really a lack of control over the producing areas. The best chance of controlling the drug production is joint cooperation between countries in the region including Burma, Laos, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Drug suppression policies are complicated by the political situation in a number of these countries, and accepted policies need to take into account the political, economic, social, and cultural situation, rather than being uni-dimensional. If not, much greater problems than the existing ones may result. Supply of Drugs Within Bangkok Although use of amphetamines in Bangkok is very widespread, we can point out some people and areas that are especially susceptible to drug problems. Centers of heavy concentration of drug use in Bangkok are generally 1) slum areas, 2) schools, and 3) 101 entertainment establishments. Some old slum areas, such as the Khlong Toey slum, are thought to be distribution centers at both the retail and wholesale level for illicit drugs in surrounding areas. The Khlong Toey slum is the classic case for the study of illicit drug trafficking at the community level. This community has developed an extensive network of dealers, protectors and consumers, and is likely the most developed drug market in Bangkok. Sellers at the retail level use multi-level marketing, persuading their customers to be sales representatives. Those sales representatives then recruit their own sales agents, so that the first seller becomes a wholesaler. This process is thought to continue gradually growing the size of the selling cluster. New sellers are given the risky job of recruiting new customers. The recent recession reduced the price and increased the use of amphetamines in Thailand. The recession increased the number of people attempting to sell drugs in Bangkok, just as it increased all other informal forms of earning a living. At the same time the recession reduced disposable income putting downward pressure on prices. Initially high profit margins allowed drugs to continue to be supplied at reduced prices. Finally the recession increased the number of unemployed, which are one of the biggest groups of users. There is a tie between drugs and bad debts. Many families get trapped into selling drugs by trying to pay off bad debts, or as a service to un-paid creditors. Better access to credit on reasonable terms would help. Also, one of the biggest sources of debt for urban people is money borrowed for medical expenses when someone gets sick. Cheaper access to medical services, and a stronger social safety net would help. There is a problem with young children being used in the drug trade. Current laws encourage the use of young children in the drug trade by meting out little or no punishment to children caught with drugs. For this reason children, frequently young girls, are often used as drug couriers (girls are preferred since police are shy about searching them.) Demand Conclusions Amphetamine is the most available drug in the market. No shortages have occurred. Marijuana is also easy to find in the marketplace while heroin is prevalent only among specific groups. Amphetamines is a social drug that is used by youths before group activities such as drinking, snooker, motorcycle racing, dancing and sports to increase their pleasure, their endurance and their feeling of belonging to the group. It is generally smoked, dissolved in water or sweet drinks, or sometimes eaten. 102 Amphetamines are used broadly by youth from many walks of life. It is not a problem of the poor and underprivileged, but can be found in every community in Bangkok from working class to wealthy. Although amphetamines were first used by truck drivers and laborers, use has mostly switched young people in a social context. Actually the use of canned coffee and high-caffeine drinks may be making inroads into more traditional uses of amphetamines. The number of heroin abusers is stable but the number of amphetamine users has been rising drastically. The age of heroin dependents is relatively higher than amphetamine dependents. There are almost no female addicts. Lots of heroin dependents started using amphetamines after an increase in the price of heroin during early 1996. The study found that by trial and error heroin users adopted amphetamine as an assistant to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms the heroin shortage, even though the use of amphetamine for this purpose is not yet widely accepted. While heroin addicts will use amphetamine as a substitute, amphetamine users do not switch to heroin. This may be due to the availability of each drug in the market place, the dangerous image of heroin for amphetamine users, and the relatively lower price of amphetamine. The rapid spread of amphetamines is a result of several factors. The higher profit margin on amphetamine trade encouraged drug production making the drug cheap and readily available. The manners of using the drug (smoking, ingesting, dissolving in water) were familiar to young people making them more inclined to experiment. The drug had a long history in Thailand among laborers, which proved it to be safe. Modern marketing techniques by the sellers, including free samples and personal selling encouraged sales. The drug fits with the Thai personality in that it allows people to work or play longer, which is valued. The drug is a fashion among high school students, and that fashion is encouraged by ineffective government advertising which raises awareness without reducing use. Amphetamine and heroin users take drugs for different reasons. Heroin addiction is mostly caused by tension from personal and social problems, but amphetamine use is a result of curiosity, persuasion by peers, and other neo-social factors. Injection is most prevalent among heroin users while smoking is most prevalent among amphetamine users. Multi-level marketing is employed by drug suppliers. High turnover of sales and fast cash recovery are major concerns among amphetamine retailers. Credit sales are widely offered for amateur retailers. The new sellers create new markets through direct sales in schools and in communities. The trading places in general are snooker (pool) clubs, motorcycle taxi stands, and gas stations. Frequently used tactics to gain market share for drug retailers are offering free samples and gambling. Young addicts are first introduced to narcotics primarily through their curiosity and friends’ persuasion. Later they gather together in groups, and purchase drugs in large quantities so as to receive quantity discounts. The larger volume of drugs purchased will reduce the cost per pill and will also give some room to make profits on further trades. A 103 convenient way to get the money to buy the next dose is to sell extra tablets. These young retail participants in the drug trade may fall into various categories: per day worker, commission salesperson, or independent dealer. Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are closely related with amphetamine intake. On many occasions, amphetamines are taken before or during the happy hours of entertainment. It is generally hard to distinguish the use of amphetamines from other licit stimulants such as high-caffeine beverages. This suggests that amphetamines may suffer from unfair accusations of harmful effects. Cultural safeguards from drug abuse are steadily eroding. Failures in the education system, schools, teachers, and lack of religious beliefs all contribute to the severity of the drug problem. Inhibiting factors preventing drug abuse include parents and the emerging role of the community. The nonchalant attitude of the police force is a major reason why the drug trade is able to flourish. Among other things, lax enforcement of drug laws, the acceptance of bribes from dealers, silence by local officials, and outright participation in the drug business all contribute to the severity of the drug situation. Anti-drug policies have not been effective on the demand side. Major obstacles include misunderstanding the root causes of drug abuse, ineffective spending of the limited prevention budget, poor coordination and cooperation among government agencies, and loopholes in laws, regulations, and legal practices. A policy of treatment and rehabilitation is emphasized at the national level, but lags in implementation due to insufficient facilities. From our survey, the price elasticity of demand for amphetamines is –1.38, and for heroin it is –0.96. The data shows that drug users adjust their behavior as price changes. Several effects of increasing drug price include a greater number of users who use more than one drug and a rise in the use of alternatives. Recommendations The study found that the narcotics problem is just one of many social problems brought on by a modernized and materialistic society. Hence, the national policy to cope with drug issue should be broadened to cover other measures such as the implementation of the philosophy of the sufficient economy (produce only what you need), building community, and restructuring of the education system. Only large enough amounts of amphetamine can lead to psychosis in users. Authorities must tell the truth to the public. The dissemination of accurate information on drugs must be put through more effective media. The problem of amphetamine use is not the medicine itself, but the factors behind its use. The classification of types of drugs, usage, and legal penalties must be redefined. There should be the support for research on the feasibility of using amphetamine to assist heroin addicts in the detoxification process. (This would require some measure of drug legalization at least in hospitals.) 104 The treatment of amphetamine addicts must be separated from heroin addicts. The treatment and rehabilitation procedures at many public hospitals need modification. Furthermore, treatment programs that provide vocational skills to the addicts are wasteful if the addiction is not generated by unemployment and if the addict does not really intend to quit using drugs. Thus, the implementation of each treatment program must be considered with care. The coordination of preventive measures and community projects run by various government agencies is crucial. The unification of all prevention programs will almost certainly rejected by controlling bodies. Hence, this should be put into national policy by the political parties. The police must be serious in prosecuting and incarcerating police officials found guilty of drug offenses. Those who are found guilty have to be penalized severely. The reward system has to be redesigned so that the police officers in charge of narcotics can be equally rewarded. The industrial policy of Thailand should emphasize labor productivity growth, and not seek further low-cost labor industries. The use of labor requiring extreme endurance should be discouraged. This conceptual change on labor issues has to be pressed urgently on employers, and the laws on labor usage in the workplace need to be seriously enforced. The relaxation of penalties for drug offenders by the Correction Department is strongly opposed. The violation of laws is in large part due to little fear of being imprisoned. Amphetamine and sports often occur together, so the “Sport Against Drugs” campaign must be clear in its aims and aware of potential dangers. The idea should be to encourage stronger relationships between children and parents and more frequent joint activities among members in the community, not using sports itself as a defense against drugs. Market Clearing Mechanisms Current retail prices of drugs in Thailand in US dollars are: amphetamines - $2.11 a tablet, heroin - $3.16 per 0.05 gram, marijuana - $1.32 per 0.5 gram, and ecstasy $21.00 per tablet. The price of drugs (both heroin and amphetamines) is mostly determined by labor costs. Price does not seem to be very sensitive to the cost of precursors, not does it seem to be seasonal. The price is dependent on the price of labor, since the distribution channel for drugs is very labor intensive. At each level of the supply chain, wages are set by going wages in other businesses, then a risk premium is added. The price of drugs would fall dramatically if drugs were legalized, not so much because of the risk premium, but because drugs could be carried in normal channels that do not require personal selling. The purity of Thai drugs varies from that found in other countries. Amphetamines seem to be weaker, and heroin stronger than in much of the west. Amphetamines are used in tablets rather than in “ice” form. 105 At many levels of the supply chain, small scale is found to be beneficial. Factories have tended to change toward small-scale temporary facilities that result in little loss if captured. The transport of drugs in many personal cars or through commercial transport services make it very hard to detect. Retail sales are through innumerable small sellers, and even the wholesale level is not concentrated. It is thought that ownership of the means of production, and of the largest distribution networks are held in fewer hands. Nevertheless, the drug trade in Thailand is not thought to be dominated by a few players. We hypothesize that any participant in the drug supply chain who makes sufficient profits will seek out and obtain two services: 1) Someone to physically handle the drugs. 2) Some sort of protection from inside the police force. Therefore when we talk about the supply chain we distinguish between the physical supply chain and the ownership supply chain. It usually will not be possible to capture participants at the higher end of the supply chain “red-handed” since they do not handle drugs personally. (Money laundering laws might be a better approach to this problem.) Those that handle the drugs must be trusted by owners, due to the great financial risk they bear when entrusting drugs to others. Therefore it is thought that a strong relationship in terms of family, clan, or patronage is likely between owners and drug handlers. This often shows up in higher arrests of Burmese transporters, etc. The services that police offer to drug traffickers include: 1) The police can give information about future police actions, 2) The police can “Look the other way” or ignore illegal activities, and 3) The police or politicians or judges can allow the drug agent to “escape” if he is captured. It is thought that these services are easily available in Thailand for the right price. The second service is very common at lower levels of the drug supply chain, while the first and third are probably more common at higher levels. Amphetamines and heroin are both produced by the same people in Burma, and the same distribution channel is used for both. We attempt to describe every party who receives money from illegal drugs along the supply chain. There is little violence associated with drugs in Thailand. What violence exists is mostly along the border with Burma, far from Bangkok. Amphetamines are an affordable drug habit. Evidence from our survey suggests that both users, and user/sellers can earn enough to buy the drugs they use. Therefore violence or crime to obtain money is not required. Heroin is relatively more expensive, more addictive, and less affordable. Heroin addicts who do not sell the drug, must come up with a substantial amount of extra money a day, possibly through illegal means. 106 The wholesale and retail drug markets are dispersed, and there does not appear to be any violence between rival groups. Most retailers of drugs sell drugs to finance their own drug habit. It is thought that although there is some upward mobility in the supply chain, higher level members probably come from other illegal activities rather than working their way up from the retail level. There is likely a great deal of corruption associated with the drug trade. Some police officials and members of the ONCB are working very hard to suppress drugs, but on the local level in Bangkok, many police officers are likely receiving payoffs to ignore illegal drugs. Can incentives be redesigned to curb this behavior? Can we offer police more than the minimal bribes they accept? We attempt to find indicative wage rates for all members of the supply chain. At the retail level, profits are very low since most of potential profit is used for buying drugs for personal use. Many other participants make very large profits for Thailand, though compared to western salaries they are not astronomical. We feel that further research is needed about the illegal drug trade, particularly on the demand side. Even though supply side strategies have been fairly effective at minimizing production within Thailand’s borders, there seems to be no shortage of any drug in Bangkok. The way to continue the significant drug problems Thailand still faces is through the demand side. 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National Institute of Health (1998) Epidemiologic Trends in Drug Abuse, by Community Epidemiology Work Group Office of the Prime Minister (1998) “Narcotic Drugs Prevention and Suppression Policy,” Order No. 141/B.E.2541, (http://www.oncb.go.th) ONCB (Office of Narcotics Control Board) (1991-1999), Thailand Narcotics Annual Report, Bangkok. ONCB (July-Aug 1999) “Drug Use Survey among Students in Thailand” ONCB (Office of Narcotics Control Board) (1997-1998), Opium Cultivation and Eradication Report for Thailand: 1997-1998, Bangkok. 108 ONCB (Office of Narcotics Control Board) (1996), A Rapid Survey of Impact from Heroin Price Escalation on Illicit Retail Distribution and the Users, Bangkok. ONCB (1995-1996) “A series of street drug study 1995-1996,” Information System Development Division, internal document Pasuk Phongpaichit, Sungsidh Piriyarangsan, and Nualnoi Treerat (1998) Guns, Girls, Gambling, Marijuana: Thailand’s Illegal Economy and Public Policy Pasuk Phongpaichit and Sungsidh Piriyarangsan (1994) Corruption and Democracy in Thailand Pornpimon Trichote, Wacharin Yongsiri, Suparak Kanchanakhundee and Songrit Ponengern. (1998) “The Studies of the Joint Cooperation against Narcotics in Thailand, Laos, Burma, China, Cambodia and Vietnam,” Submitted to The Office of Narcotics Control Board. Poshyachinda, V., Danthamrongkul, V., and Perngparn, U. (1998), The Major Changes in The 1990s Substance Abuse Scenario in Asean Countries, Journal of Psychiatry Association of Thailand, 43 (2), pp.136-148. Poshyachinda, V., and Pittayanond, P. (1985), Illegal Amphetamine Market in Thailand, Institute of Health Research, Chulalongkorn university, Bangkok. Sumyai, V. (1999), Heroin: the White Devil, Bangkok. Sumyai, V. (2000), Thailand Country Report on Amphetamine-type Stimulants, unpublished paper, Bangkok. UNDCP (1996), Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, TS.6, Vienna, pp. 23-24. UNIDCP (2000) World Drug Report, Oxford University Press, forthcoming UNDCP (1999) Global Illicit Drug Trends UNIDCP (1997) World Drug Report, Oxford University Press UNIDCP (1996) Amphetamine-Type Stimulants: A Global Review Vichai Poshyachinda, Vipa Danthamrongkul, and Usaneya Perngparn (2000) “CountryProfile: Thailand” forthcoming in World Drug Report (2000) Viroj Sumyai (1999 ), Thailand Country Report on Amphetamine – Type Stimulants Visuthimach, N. (1998), Drug Consumption Behavior: Review, Situation and Factors to longer live, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok. 109 Appendix I “Illegal Drug Markets Project” Questionnaire General Information 1. Who is your most respected person, who you might like to be like? Parent Relatives Girlfriend/Boyfriend Friend Respective person/Teacher Others (specify)__________ 2. Do you know the effect of drugs to your health? Know Do not know If you know, where do you get this information? (Follow sequence: rank 1 – 3, 1=highest, 3=lowest) Friend/Neighbor Family Place of study Mass Media Public Advertisement Private Advertisement Others (specify)__________ 3. Do you understand and pay attention to the bad consequences of drugs? Strongly understand and pay attention to it Understand and pay attention to it Ignore it 4. Which drug is most destructive to the body? (Choose only one choice) Heroin Amphetamine Others (specify)__________ Marijuana Inhalants 5. Which drug is the easiest one to become addicted to? (Choose only one choice) Heroin Amphetamine Others (specify)__________ Marijuana Inhalants 6. From which mass media you know the information of drug? (Follow sequence: 1=Most, 4=Least) Newspaper Radio Television Cinema/Drama 7. From which mode of public announcement did you get the information of drug? (Follow sequence: 1=Most, 3=Least) Radio news Exhibition Seminar 8. Do you know the penalty from drug abuse? Know Do not know If you know, where did you get this information? (Follow sequence: 3 ranks) Friend/Neighbor Family Place of study Mass Media Announcement of Government Sector Announcement of Private Sector Others (specify)__________ 9. After you know the penalty for drug user, how do you feel? Fear / try to quit Do not fear / still taking it Fear / do not quit but beware of the police 10. In the past, how did the police enforce to eliminate drug abuse? Stronger enforce Unchanged Weaker enforce 11. How did you react to the police enforcement on drug abuse? More consume Unchanged Less consume 110 12. Have anyone in your family addicted, or ever addicted? Yes No If you answer Yes, how many? __________ persons Father addicts to__________ Mother addicts to__________ Elder sister/brother addicts to__________ Younger sister/brother addicted to__________ Others (specify) __________addicted to__________ 13. Do you have close friends who are addicted, or have ever been addicted to illegal drugs? Have Do not have If you answer Yes, to which drug? __________ How many of them? __________persons 14. Do you think that drug addiction can be cured? Yes No Maybe or maybe not, depending on the situation If it depends on the situation, what is the reason? _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 15. What do you feel most when you are on the drug? Relieve Fun/ Feel Brave/No Be with Able to work Fashionable stress potent Embarrass the group longer - Heroin - Marijuana - Amphetamine Inhalants 16. Describe how difficult it is to obtain the following drugs Widely available Moderately available Little availability Heroin Marijuana Amphetamine - Inhalants Pattern of Drug Use 1. 2. 3. 4. How do you describe yourself? Drug user Drug user and Drug seller Age when you first tried various drugs Heroin At the age of__________ Marijuana At the age of__________ Amphetamine At the age of__________ Inhalants At the age of__________ Others (specify)__________ At the age of__________ How long have you been addicted to drugs? Less than 1 year 1 – 3 years 3 – 5 years More than 5 years What is your reason for using drugs the first time? (Choose only one) Persuasion by friend Curiosity Compelled by someone Nothing to do Lack of Warmth Have pressure/Feeling Impasse Be deceived Others (specify)__________ 111 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. How strong an influence was each of the following factors in using drugs for the first time? None Little Moderate High Very High 1. Lack of Warmth in Family 2. Drug Publicity 3. Friend Persuasion 4. Imitation of Movie Stars/Singer Stars 5. Unemployment 6. Gambling 7. Cigarettes 8. Night Entertainment How did you obtain your first drug? Via friend Bought myself Free trial Others (specify)__________ What other things do you use complimentarily when you use drugs? Use it alone Combination with (i.e. Alcohol, Cigarette, Other drugs) Heroin combine with__________ Marijuana combine with__________ Amphetamine combine with__________ Inhalants combine with__________ - Others (specify)__________ Where do you take drugs?_____________________________________________________ Where do you normally purchase drug? Location (Specify)______________________________ Municipal____________________ How do you obtain drugs from your seller? At a specified location At the seller’s place Delivery by the seller’s children Direct sale What drug did you primarily use before the current treatment? Heroin Amphetamine Others (specify)__________ Marijuana Inhalants The price of drugs that you buy? Heroin__________Baht per__________ Amphetamine__________Baht per__________ Marijuana__________Baht per__________ Inhalants__________Baht per__________ Others (specify)__________ __________Baht per__________ The price of drugs compared to last years price More expensive Stay the same Cheaper If more expensive or cheaper, what is the previous price? Heroin__________Baht per__________ Amphetamine__________Baht per__________ Marijuana__________Baht per__________ Inhalants__________Baht per__________ Others (specify)____________________Baht per__________ During the past year, how did you change the frequency of drug use? Quantity Quantity More Unchanged Less (Last year) (Lately) Heroin __________per day __________per day Marijuana __________per day __________per day Amphetamine __________per day __________per day Inhalants __________per day __________per day Others(specify) __________per day __________per day How do you take various drugs? Eat Inject Smoke Sniff/Inhale Other (specify) - Heroin ____________ - Marijuana ____________ - Amphetamine ____________ Inhalants ____________ - Others (specify) ____________ If you cannot find each of these drugs, what other kinds of drug will you switch to? - Heroin If it is no availability, switch to __________________________________ 112 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. - Marijuana If it is no availability, switch to__________________________________ - Amphetamine If it is no availability, switch to__________________________________ - Inhalants If it is no availability, switch to__________________________________ - Others (specify)__________ Switch to__________________________________ How many times have you undergone treatment? (including the present time) 1 2 3 4 5 More than 5 times What is your reason for present treatment? By self-intention Poor health Be forced by parents Do it for family Be arrested and brought for Treatment No money to buy drug Others (specify)__________ In case that you return to take drug after the treatment, what is your reason? Return to the old surroundings Family’s problems persists Unemployment, have nothing to do Be loathed by the society Self-returning Do not want to quit, take the therapy course because need to recuperate Others (specify)__________ After the present treatment, will you return to the old surroundings? If not, what will you do? Return to the old surroundings Change friends/Isolation from addicted friends Change community/ Move Out In your opinion, why the addicts do not want to take a treatment? Have no money Poor Treatment Afraid of Treatment The police will know Others (specify)__________ How much do you pay for each drug (while you are addicted) per day? Heroin __________ baht per day Marijuana __________ baht per day - Amphetamine_________ baht per day - Inhalants __________ baht per day - Others (specify)__________ _________baht per day What is your source(s) of money to pay for drug? Legitimate income Borrow from friends From parents From wife/husband From relatives From illegal job From sex service From both legal and illegal job Others (specify)__________ During the latest addiction, how much is your income from each source? Legitimate income __________baht per month From parents __________baht per month From illegal job __________baht per (day/month) Others (specify)__________ __________baht per month During the past year, did you receive higher income or lower income and how much? Personal income __________per month From parents __________per month From illegal job __________per month Others (specify)__________ __________per month Personal Information 1. Sex 2. Male Age: __________years Female 113 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Education Illiterate Primary school Secondary school High School Vocation Bachelor Degree Others (specify)__________ Are you currently studying? Studying in __________ Do not study If you do not study, what is your occupation? Unemployed Clerk Service (Beauty, Singer etc.) Agricultural (specific)__________ Prostitute Wage labors Both legal and illegal jobs Own business Illegal job Government employee Others (specify)__________ The age you finished school is __________ because of Graduation Resignation because _______________ Discharged because _______________ Marital status Single Married Divorced/Separated Your father’s occupation Civil servant Businessman Agricultural Wage labor Service / skill labor both legal and illegal job Illegal job Unemployed Others (specify)__________ Your mother’s occupation Housewife Sales worker Civil servant Agricultural Service (Beauty, Singer etc.) Wage labor Both legal and illegal jobs Illegal job Others (specify)__________ Parents’ income Wealthy (more than 50,000 baht per month) Good (30,000-50,000 baht per month) Average (10,000 – 30,000 baht per month) Poor (less than 10,000 baht per month) Parents’ relationship No Quarrel Little quarrel Quarrel as usual Violently dispute Do you have stepmother and/or stepfather? Neither Have step-mother Have both step-mother and step-father Have step-father Who do you live with? Father Mother Father-Mother Sister/Brother Couple Daughter/Son Relatives Friend Others(specify)__________ Do your parents live together? Yes No If not, why? Divorced or separated Father died Mother died Parents died Others (specify)__________ 114 14. Number of sisters and brothers (including yourself) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 More than 10 15. What best describes your living place? Village Condensed Community Low-cost Condominium House in the Suburb Townhouse Apartment/Condominium 16. Have you ever been incarcerated? Yes No If yes, how many times?_____________time(s) First____________________________ Punishment _________________________ Second__________________________ Punishment _________________________ Third___________________________ Punishment _________________________ Notes_________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Date of Interview (DD/MM/YY)_________________________ Time Start________________ Finish_________________ Place_______________________________________________ Name of Interviewer__________________________________ Inspector____________________________________________ 115 Appendix II Narcotics Control Laws Legal Affairs Division Office of the Narcotics Control Board Office of the Prime Minister (Thailand) Emergency Decree on Controlling the use of Volatile Substances B.E. 2533 (1990) “Volatile Substances” means chemicals or materials as notified by the Minister of Public Health and Minister of Industry in the Government Gazette. (section 3) Lists of Volatile Substances under the Notification of Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Industry No. 14 (B.E. 2538) specifying names, categories and containing quantities are the following: 1) 14 chemicals are Toluene, Acetone, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Isopropylacetone, Ethyl Acetate, Cellosolve Acetate, Methyl Acetate, n-Butyl Acetate, sec-Butyl Acetate, nButyl Nitrite, iso-Butyl Nitrite, Butyl Cellosolve, Cellosolve and Methyl Cellosolve 2) 5 materials are thinners, lacquers, Synthetic Organic Adhesives, Natural Organic Adhesives and Blowing Balloon. Offences and Punishments under the Emergency Decree Offences Punishments Any producer does not provide picture, sign or content on container or package of Volatile Substances for the purpose of warning the use of Volatile Substances as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation (section 12) Any importer before selling does not provide picture, sign or content on container or package of Volatile Substances for the purpose of warning the use of Volatile Substances as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation (section 13) Imprisonment for a term of 2 years or a fine of not exceeding 20,000 Baht or both (section 22) 116 Offences Punishments Imprisonment for a term of 2 years or a fine of not exceeding 20,000 Baht or both (section 22) Imprisonment of not exceeding one year or a fine of not exceeding 10,000 Bath or both (section 23) Imprisonment of not exceeding 2 years or a fine of not exceeding 20,000 Bath or both (section 24) In case of exceeding 17 years old: imprisonment of not exceeding 2 years or a fine of not exceeding 20,000 Bath or both (section 24) and/or transferring him to be treated (section 28). But if such person escapes from the hospital: imprisonment of not exceeding one year or a fine of not exceeding 10,000 Bath or both (section 29) In case of not exceeding 17 years old: no punishment, but the court shall give an admonition or transfer him to be treated. (section 26) Imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Bath or both (section 24) Sale of Volatile Substances without picture, sign or content which the producer or importer provides on container or package. (section 14) Sale of Volatile Substances to a person not exceeding 17 years old except in case of sale by educational institute for the purpose of education (section 15) Seller, provider or giver of Volatile Substances to a person whom he knows or should know that such person is a Volatile Substances addict (section 16) Use of Volatile Substances for the treatment of the bodily and mental conditions (section 17) Inducing, instigating or using fraudulent of deceitful means to cause other person to consume Volatile Substances (section 18) Impeding or failing to render facilities to the competent officials in entering the producing, importing, selling or storing place of Volatile Substances in order to inspect and seize articles (section 19) Imprisonment not exceeding 1 month or a fine not exceeding 1,000 Bath or both (section 25) Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975) “Psychotropic Substances” means such a psychotropic substance which is natural or derived from nature, or synthetic as the Minister notifies in the Government Gazette. (section 4) This Act was enacted to control the psychotropic substances. The Act was directory resulted from the Convention of Psychotropic Substances 1971 of which 117 Thailand is a member. It comprises of 12 chapters and 119 sections, viz. 1) Psychotropic Substances Board 2) Application for and issue of licenses concerning psychotropic substances 3) Duties licensee 4) Duties of pharmacist 5) Fake psychotropic substances, psychotropic substances not being in conformity with standard 6) Registration of preparation 7) Advertisement 8) Competent official 9) Suspension and revocation of licenses 10) Special measures of control 11) International trade 12) Penalties Psychotropic Substances are classified into 4 categories (section 6(1)) according to the Notification of the Ministry of Public Health Schedule Schedule I II Schedule Schedule III IV such as Psilocine, Psilocybine and Tetrahydrocannabi Nol. such as Fenethylline, Secobarbital, Pemoline, Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine and Zolpidem. such as Amobarbital, Buprenorphine and Cyclobarbital such as Diazepam, Fenproporex and Chlordiazepoxide Offences and Punishments under the Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 Offences Schedule I Production Importation Exportation Sale Carrying Across Possession or utilization Possession or utilization in quantity exceeding that prescribed by the Minister Consumption Inducing, pandering, Instigating, deceiving or threatening another person to consume Schedule II Schedule III Schedule IV Imprisonment of 5 – 20 years and a fine of 100,000 – 400,000 Bath (section 89) Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 100,000 Bath (section 90) Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 100,000 Bath (section 90) Imprisonment of 1 – 5 years Imprisonment not exceeding and a fine of 20,000 – one year of a fine not 100,000 Bath (section 106 exceeding 20,000 Bath of para. 1) both (section 106 para. 2) Imprisonment of 5 – 20 years and a fine of 100,000 – 400,000 Bath (section 106 bis) Imprisonment of 1 - 5 years and a fine of 20,000 - 100,000 Bath (section 106 ter.) Imprisonment of 2 – 10 years and a fine of 40,000 – 200,000 Bath (section 106 quarter) 118 Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 (1979) “Narcotics” means any form of chemicals or substances which, upon being consumed whether by taking orally, inhaling, smoking, injecting or by whatever means, causes physiological or mental effect in a significant manner such as need of continual increase of dosage, having withdrawal symptoms when deprived of the narcotics, strong physical and mental need of dosage and the health in general being deteriorated, and also includes plant or parts of plants which are or give product as narcotics or may be used to produce narcotics and chemicals used for the production of such narcotics as notified by the Minister in the Government Gazette, but excludes certain formula of household medicine under the law on drugs which contain narcotic ingredients. (section 4) In order to be controlled properly, narcotics are classified into 5 categories because they are of different danger and medicinal purposes. Lists of narcotics according to the Notification of the Ministry of Public Health No. 135 (B.E. 2539) are as follows: Category I 32 dangerous narcotics such as heroine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and LSD; Category II 100 ordinary narcotics such as coca leaf, cocaine, codeine, concentrate of poppy straw, methadone, morphine, medicinal opium and opium; Category III narcotics which are in the form of medicinal formula and contain narcotics of Category II as ingredients; Category IV 15 chemicals used for producing narcotics of Category I or II such as acetic anhydride, acetyl chloride, ethylidine diacetate, chlorpseudoephedrine, ergometrine, ergotamine, isosafrole, lysergic acid, piperonal and safrole; Category V 4 narcotics which are not included in Category I to IV – i.e. cannabis, kratom plant, poppy plant and magic mushroom. 119 Offences and Punishments under the Act Offences Category I Category II Production importation exportation Disposal or possession for the purpose of disposal Life imprisonment (section 65 para. 1) For the purpose of disposal: death penalty (section 65 para. 2) Pure substances of 20 grams or more shall be regarded as commission for the purpose of disposal (section 15) Pure substances of not more than 100 grams: imprisonment of 5 years to life and a fine of 50,000 – 500,000 Bath (section 66 para. 1) Pure substances of more than 100 grams: life imprisonment to death penalty (section 66 para. 2) Imprisonment of 1-10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 68) In case of morphine, opium or cocaine: imprisonment of 20 years to life and a fine of 200,000 – 500,000 Bath (section 68) Imprisonment of 1 – 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 69 para.2) In case of morphine, opium or cocaine, if pure substances of more than 100 grams: imprisonment of 3 – 20 years and a fine of 30,000 – 200,000 Bath. But, if pure substances of more than 100 grams: imprisonment of 5 years to life and a fine of 50,000 – 500,000 Bath (section 69 para. 3, para. 4) 120 Offences Category I Possession consumption Deceit, threat, use of violent force or coercion of another person for consumption Instigating another person for consumption Category II Pure substances of less than 20 grams; imprisonment of 1 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 67) Pure substances of 20 grams or more shall be regarded as commission for the purpose of disposal (section 15) Pure substances of not more than 100 grams: imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 50,000 Bath (section 69 para. 1) Pure substances of more than 100 grams shall be regarded as commission for the purpose of disposal (section 17) Imprisonment of 6 months – 10 years and a fine of 5,000 – 10,000 Bath (section 91) Imprisonment of 1 – 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 93) Imprisonment of 1 – 5 years and a fine of 10,000 – 50,000 Bath (section 93 bis) 121 Offences Category III Production importation Exportation disposal Possession for the purpose of disposal Possession Consumption Deceit, threat, use of violent force or coercion of another person for consumption Category IV Imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding 30,000 Bath or both (section 70) Imprisonment not exceeding 1 year of a fine not exceeding 10,000 Bath or both (section 71) Imprisonment of 1 – 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 73) Imprisonment of 1 – 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 73) Imprisonment of 1 – 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 74 para. 2) Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 50,000 Bath (section 74) Quantity of 10 kg. upwards shall be regarded as possession for the purpose of disposal (section 26 para. 2) Imprisonment of 1 – 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 93) 122 Offences Category V Others Production imprisonment of 2 –15 years importation and a fine of 20,000 – exportation 150,000 Bath (section 75 disposal para. 1) Possession for imprisonment of 2 –15 years the purpose of and a fine of 20,000 – disposal 150,000 Bath (section 76 para. 2) Possession imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 50,000 Bath (section 76 para. 1) Consumption Deceit, threat, use of violent force or coercion of another person for consumption Instigating another person for consumption Kratom Plant imprisonment not exceeding 2 years and a fine not exceeding 20,000 Bath (section 75 para. 2) imprisonment not exceeding 2 years and a fine not exceeding 20,000 Bath (section 76 para. 4) imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding 10,000 Bath or both (section 76 para. 3) quantity of 10 kg. upwards shall be regarded as possession for the purpose of disposal (section26 para. 2) imprisonment not exceeding imprisonment not exceeding 1 year and a fine not 1 month or a fine not exceeding 10,000 Bath exceeding 1,000 Bath (section 92 para. 1) (section 92 para. 2) imprisonment of 1 – 10 years and a fine of 10,000 – 100,000 Bath (section 93) imprisonment not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding 10,000 Bath (section 93 bis para. 2) Narcotics Control Act B.E. 2519 (1976) The Narcotics Control Act B.E. 2519 (1976) designates the Narcotics Control Board (N.C.B.) as central authority for preventing and suppressing narcotics in the country and also prescribes the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) to have duties in implementing the resolutions of the N.C.B. and perform some other administrative functions. The N.C.B. consists of the Prime Minister as Chairman, Minister of Interior, Minister of Education, Minister of Public Health, Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, Director-General of the Customs Department, Attorney-General as exofficio-members, and not more than six other members appointed by the Council of Ministers, and the Secretary-General of the ONCB as member and secretary. (section 5) 123 Powers and Duties of the NCB are: (section 13) to prepare work plans and measures for preventing and suppressing the offenders under the laws relating to narcotics; to control the investigation, inquiry and prosecution of offences under the laws relating to narcotics; to prepare and implement projects as well as to instruct the Government agencies concerned to disseminate knowledge in narcotics; to control, expedite and co-ordinate the performance of duties of the Government agencies having the powers and duties in respect of the execution of the laws relating to narcotics; to submit recommendations to the Council of Ministers in order that there may be the improvement in the performance of official affairs or in the work plans or projects of the Government agencies having the powers and duties in respect of the execution of the laws relating to narcotics; to co-ordinate and supervise the treatment and healing of narcotic addicts; to consider and approve the appointment of competent official for the execution of this Act. The N.C.B., Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General of the ONCB and competent officials have the following powers: (section 14) to enter any dwelling place, premises or conveyance during the day time between sunlight and sunset in order to search, seize or attach narcotics unlawfully possessed or arrest any person where there is a reasonable ground to suspect that he has committed an offences under the law relating to narcotics. In the case where there is a reasonable ground to suspect, however, that there are narcotics unlawfully hidden or the person to be arrested is hidden in such dwelling place or premises together with a reasonable ground to believe that should actions not be taken immediately, such narcotics would be removed or the person in hidden would escape, they shall have the power to enter during the night time after sunset; to search any dwelling place, premises or person in the case where there is a reasonable ground to suspect that there are narcotics unlawfully hidden therein or thereon, to seize or attach narcotics or any other property which was obtained owing to the commission of an offence under the laws relating to narcotics, or which was used or will be used in the commission of an offence under the laws relating to narcotics, or which may be used as an evidence; to arrest any person who has committed an offence under the laws relating to narcotics; to make an inquiry of the alleged offender in an offence under the laws relating to narcotics; to issue a letter of inquiry to or summon any person or the official of any Government agency to give statements or to submit any account, document or material for examination or supplementing the consideration. 124 Act on Measures for the Supression of Offenders in an Offences relating to Narcotics B.E. 2534 (1991) This Act provides the following 3 significant measures for the suppression of offender in an offence relating to narcotics; 1) Offence of Conspiracy to commit and offence to relating to narcotics Whoever two or more persons, with manifest intention, agree to commit an offence relating to narcotics, every such person is said to conspire to commit such offence and if the offence relating to narcotics has actually been committed on account of the conspiracy, every such conspirator shall be liable to the penalty imposed for such offence. (section 8) 2) Asset forfeiture All the instruments, equipment, conveyances, machinery or any other properties used in the commission of an offence relating to narcotics or used as accessories for producing the consequence of the commission of an offence or possessed for use in the commission of and offence shall be forfeited, irrespective of whether or not any person is convicted by the judgement. (section 30) The properties forfeited shall devolve on the Narcotics Control Fund established for the purpose of narcotics control. (section 31) 3) Extension of jurisdiction to adjudicate Any person who commits an offence relating to narcotics, despite the fact that the offence is committed outside the Kingdom, shall be punished in the Kingdom, if it appears that: (1) the offender or any accomplice is a Thai person or has a place of residence in Thailand; or (2) the offender is an alien and intends its consequence to occur within the Kingdom or the Thai Government is the injured person; or (3) the offender is an alien and such act is an offence under the law of the State in the jurisdiction of which the offence is committed, if such offender has appeared in the Kingdom and has not been extradited under the law on extradition. (section 5) According to the Act, the authorities are empowered to seize, restrain or confiscate the proceeds of drugs trafficking as well as to deal with drug conspirators. The officials can also pursue the drug barons even if the offence is committed outside Thailand. Narcotics Addict Rehabilitation Act B.E. 2534 (1991) The Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act B.E. 2534 is aimed at laying down measures in compulsory treating the following alleged offender to recover from narcotic addiction: 1) any person who is alleged to consume or have in possession the narcotics of category I, II or IV in the quantity prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation and 125 2) any person who does not appear to be the alleged offender or to be prosecuted for other offences punishable with imprisonment or to be imprisoned by judgement of court The inquiry official shall transfer that person to the rehabilitation centre within territorial jurisdiction for identifying whether such alleged offender is a narcotic addict or not. Upon admission of the alleged offender, the rehabilitation centre shall: 1) make a record of the offender’s identification 2) identify whether the offender is a narcotic addict 3) report the result of 1) and 2) to the sub-committee of the rehabilitation centre In case where the sub-committee decides that the offender is not a narcotic addict, the competent official shall transfer him to the inquiry official. But if the sub-committee decides otherwise, the competent official shall commit him for rehabilitation for a period of not more than 6 months. The extension of such period may be made many times but each extension shall not be longer than 6 months and the total periods shall not exceed 3 years. When the sub-committee decides that he has recovered from narcotic addiction, it shall be deemed that he is relieved from the alleged offence. But if the result of rehabilitation is not satisfactory, the competent official shall retransfer him to the inquiry official for consideration as to whether or not it is expedient to institute the criminal proceedings against him. In conducting the trials, the Court may impose upon him less punishment to any extent than that provided by law for such offence. Money Laundering Control Act B.E. 2542 (1999) The Money Laundering Control Act B.E. 2542 which has come into force since the 20 of August B.E. 2542, comprises 7 chapters and 66 sections, viz. 1) General Provision 2) Reporting and Identification 3) Money Laundering Control Board 4)Business Transaction Committee 5) Office of the Money Laundering Control 6) Procedures concerning properties and 7) Penalties th Predicate offences under the Act are 1) narcotics offences 2) trafficking of children and women 3) cheating and fraud to the public 4) misappropriation or cheating and fraud by commercial banks or financial institutions 5) malfeasance in office or judicial office 6) extortion or blackmail by criminal organization and 7) customs evasion Money laundering offence means: 1) to transfer, receive or convert properties derived directly or indirectly from the predicate offences, with the aim of either concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the said properties, or aiding any persons involved in the commission of any of those offences to evade the legal consequences of his action; or 2) to collaborate in concealing or disguising the genuine nature, origin, location, disposition, movement or ownership of the properties or right there to derived directly or indirectly from the predicate offences. 126 The Act requires the financial institutions, land registration offices and some other professions to report all transactions that are unusual, suspicious or in excess of a given amount to the Office of the Money Laundering Control. Organizations responsible for the execution of this Act include 1) Office of the Money Laundering Control 2) Business Transaction Committee 3) Office of the Attorney-General and 4) Court Whoever commits the money laundering offence shall be punished with imprisonment of 1-10 years and a fine from 20,000 to 200,000 Bath. In case of juristic person, he shall be punished with a fine from 20,000 to 1,000,000 Bath. Narcotics Control Laws of Thailand in Summary “Narcotics” under the Narcotics control Act B.E. 2519 is broader than “narcotics” under the Narcotics Act B.E. 2522. According to the Narcotics Control Act, “narcotics” means narcotics under the law on narcotics, psychotropic substances under the law on psychotropic substances and volatile substances under the law on controlling the use of volatile substances, whereas the “narcotics” under the Narcotics Act does not include psychotropic substances and volatile substances which are separately controlled under the Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 and Emergency Decree on Controlling the Use of Volatile Substances B.E. 2533 respectively. Apart from those, some chemicals which can be used to produce narcotics are also controlled under the Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 and Commodities Control Act B.E. 2495. narcotics narcotics Psychotropic substances Volatile substances Chemicals used Narcotics of category IV to produce Controlled commodities narcotics Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 Emergency Decree on Controlling the Use of Volatile Substances B.E. 2533 Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 Commodities Control Act B.E. 2495 Groups of Narcotics Control Laws 1) Law designating powers and duties of the competent official to control narcotics: Narcotics Control Act B.E. 2519 (1976) 2) Laws on controlling of drugs: Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 (1979) Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975) Emergency Decree on Controlling the Use of Volatile Substances B.E. 2533 (1990) Commodities Control Act B.E. 2495 (1952) 3) Laws providing special measures Act on Measures for the Suppression of Offenders in an Offence relating to Narcotics B.E. 2534 (1991) Narcotics Addict Rehabilitation Act B.E. 2534 (1991) Land Transport Act B.E. 2522 (1979) 127 Road Traffic Act B.E. 2522 (1979) Act on Authorizing Naval Officer for the Suppression of Some Offences Committed by Sea (No.4) B.E. 2534 (1991) 128 Appendix III Drug-Related Data Table 2.1-2.10 are prepared from the Statistical Report, Drug Dependence Information System Treatment Population, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health (DMS/MPH) and the Institute of Health Research, Chulalongkorn University (IHRCU), FY 1994-1998. Table 2.1: Total Users of Each Drug During the Last 30 Days Before Treatment Unit: Persons Drug 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Heroin No. 4 26,716 30,167 24,463 20,092 20,850 Marijuana 2,870 2,116 1,246 818 688 Amphetamine 133 210 590 2,273 4,381 Methadone 687 442 492 516 741 Inhalants 224 270 220 319 257 Sedatives 55 63 133 265 473 Others* 497 544 521 697 587 Total** 27,958 31,495 25,983 23,380 25,764 Note:* main drugs include diazepam, opium, and alcohol . ** the sum of all types of drug exceeds the total number because of double counting from duo drug users. Table 2.2: Drug First Use Among New Heroin Cases Drug 1994 Marijuana 4738 Heroin No. 4 2033 Inhalants 746 Amphetamine 26 Alcohol 6 Cigarette 7 Total 7845 1995 4846 3673 823 39 20 17 9649 Table 2.3: Drug First Use Among New Amphetamine Cases Drug 1995 1996 Marijuana 29 48 Heroin No. 4 4 9 Inhalants 6 20 Amphetamine 63 243 Alcohol 1 0 Cigarette 3 8 Total 106 331 Table 2.4: Reason for Present Treatment for Heroin Dependents Reason 1994 1995 N=26082 N=29488 Self Motivator 60.5 59.1 Family Coercion 12.4 14.5 Poor Health 9.4 6.8 No Money to Purchase 12.9 15.5 Difficult to Purchase 1.5 1.2 1996 2751 3092 600 68 5 145 6759 1997 190 43 101 994 3 20 1364 1996 N=23983 52.2 13.7 8.8 17.7 3.5 1997 1477 1806 285 79 5 93 3776 Unit: persons 1998 1045 1507 188 81 3 22 2872 Unit: persons 1998 294 40 157 2161 3 32 2713 Unit: percent 1997 1998 N=19501 N=20611 51.5 55.1 13.1 11.2 8.7 7.6 19.8 20.3 2.2 1.3 129 Table 2.5: Reason for Present Treatment for Amphetamine Dependents Unit: percent Reason 1995 1996 1997 1998 N=132 N=404 N=1730 N=3553 Self Motivator 60.6 40.6 42.1 46.2 Family Coercion 26.5 28.7 35.2 33.9 Poor Health 10.6 22.3 15.4 11.2 No Money to Purchase 1.5 4.7 5.1 6.4 Difficult to Purchase 0.0 0.7 0.5 0.6 Table 2.6: Education Status of drug dependents in the treatment centers Unit: percent Education Status 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998* N=27168 N=31032 N=25668 N=23099 N=25351 Never Attended School 1.1 0.9 1.2 0.9 0.5 01-04* 15.8 12.8 11.7 11.0 05-07* 21.5 21.6 20.1 20.4 23.0 08-10* 37.8 38.5 40.5 40.1 39.6 11-12* 19.8 21.7 22.1 22.7 30.9 Greater than 12 3.5 4.3 4.3 4.8 5.9 Non-Formal Education 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 Note: *In 1998, the classification of education status was rearranged into Never attended School, 01-06, 0709, 10-12, and Greater Than 12 to conform with the new obligation of general education system . Table 2.7: Average Money Spent on Drug Per Day of Drug Dependents Type 1994 1995 1996 Heroin Users – New Cases 201.64 269.02 363.41 Amphetamine Users – New Cases n.a. 213.95 247.11 Heroin Users – Re Entry 228.81 297.35 405.53 Amphetamine Users – Re Entry n.a. 216.65 340.96 Unit: Baht/Day 1997 1998 435.53 389.62 241.00 229.94 461.71 416.20 277.95 263.02 Table 2.8: Daily Consumption Frequency Index of Principal Drug Use Per Day Type 1994 1995 1996 1997 Heroin Users – New Cases 3.51 3.49 3.44 3.37 Amphetamine Users – New Cases n.a. 3.07 2.98 2.88 Heroin Users – Re Entry 3.55 3.54 3.45 3.35 Amphetamine Users – Re Entry n.a. 2.92 3.16 2.98 Note: Scale 1 = Habitual Use, Scale 2 = One Time Use, Scale 3 = 2-3 Times, Scale 4 = More Than 3 Times Table 2.9: Pattern of Drug Use During the Last 30 Days Type 1994 1995 Heroin Users – New Cases - use one drug 86.5% 91.3% - use more than one drug 12.5% 8.7% Amphetamine Users – New Cases - use one drug n.a. 93.5% - use more than one drug 6.5% Heroin Users – Re Entry - use one drug 88.7% 92.3% - use more than one drug 11.3% 7.8% Amphetamine Users – Re Entry - use one drug n.a. 96.2% - use more than one drug 3.8% 1998 3.37 2.86 3.32 3.03 1996 1997 1998 94.9% 5.1% 94.0% 6.0% 94.1% 5.9% 96.4% 3.6% 97.3% 2.7% 97.3% 2.7% 92.2% 7.7% 91.6% 8.4% 89.8% 10.2% 88.4% 11.6% 91.8% 8.2% 94.0% 6.0% 130 Table 2.10: Number of Drug Patients in Bangkok Metropolis Reported by the treatment and rehabilitation Centers Adding the Number from Thanyarak Hospital Unit: persons Type of Treatment Center 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Public Hospital 9,093 9,102 7,525 8,825 11,017 Private Hospital 403 1,917 1,828 660 484 Public Health Center 17,746 17,867 14,777 13,215 14,293 Private Clinic 2,076 4,478 4,186 3,371 3,439 Total 29,318 33,364 28,316 26,071 29,233 Source: Readjusted from Statistical Report FY 1994-1998. Table 2.11-2.15 are compiled by author from various sources. Table 2.11: Comparison of the Unit cost of treatment and rehabilitation on various types of facilities and unit cost of drug-offender imprisonment unit: baht/person Treatment Center/ Prison 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Thanyarak Hospital 4,404 5,324 6,778 15,390 8,178 136,578 237,078 140,392 118,666 45,424 Duang Prateep Foundation Public Health Center n.a. 367 494 2,929 829 Prison n.a. n.a. n.a. 13,228 13,560 Table 2.12: Comparison of the annual cost of major treatment and rehabilitation centers Unit: million baht Treatment Center/ Prison 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Thanyarak Hospital 28.821 33.932 31.714 54.434 29.701 Duang Prateep Foundation 2.595 2.371 1.544 2.255 0.772 Public Health Center n.a 6.563 7.300 38.705 11.844 Prison n.a. n.a. n.a. 86.792 118.174 Table 2.13: Annual cost of treatment and rehabilitation centers (1) Unit: million baht Treatment Center 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Public Hospital 40.0 48.5 51.0 135.8 90.1 Private Hospital 1.8 10.2 12.4 10.2 4.0 Public Health Center n.a 6.6 7.3 38.7 11.8 Private Clinic n.a. 1.6 2.1 9.9 2.9 Total 41.8* 66.9 72.8 194.6* 108.8 Note*: The annual cost of treatment and rehabilitation in 1994 is underestimated by the costs of 15 public health centers and 9 private clinics and in 1997 is overestimated because a new building at Thanyarak overstated the cost per client in each public hospital. Table 2.14: Annual Costs of Treatment and Rehabilitation in Bangkok Metropolis (2) (Units: Unit Cost and Number of Patients in baht, Total Cost in million baht) Description 1995 1996 1997 1998 Average unit cost of 2,846 3,636 3,367 4,504 treatment Number of Patients 33,364 28,316 26,071 29,233 Total Cost* 94.9 103.0 87.8 131.7 Note: *average unit cost of treatment from public hospital and public health center times total number of patients 131 Table 2.15: Social Costs from Drug Addiction in the Bangkok Metropolis Unit: million baht Category 1995 1996 1997 1998 Prevention 1.8 1.2 0.3 3.9 Treatment and 66.9 72.8 194.6 108.8 Rehabilitation* Correction n.a. n.a. 86.8 118.2 Note:*The calculation excludes personal costs of treatment: 1,500-2,000 baht per person for Thanyarak Hospital, 800 baht for BMA health center, and more than 10,000 baht for private hospital.