Drug Users in Treatment Centers on the Rise

The number of Cambodians who were forced into drug detention centers or sought out treatment on their own jumped 50 percent last year, according to the Nation­al Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD).

The number of such drug users rose from 11,069 in 2014 to 16,574 in 2015, NACD Secretary-General Meas Vyrith announced  at a meeting of the anti-drug body at the Interior Ministry in Phnom Penh on Monday.

Ke Kim Yan, chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, speaks at the Interior Ministry in Phnom Penh on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Ke Kim Yan, chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, speaks at the Interior Ministry in Phnom Penh on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

In ad­di­tion to those rounded up by po­lice, he said afterward, “we have collect­ed the figure for those who came to re­ceive treatment at health centers, referral hospitals and private centers.”

Asked about the sharp in­crease, NACD Chairman Ke Kim Yan blamed migration to urban ar­eas, poor law enforcement and Cambodia’s proximity to the Gold­en Triangle, a methamphetamine-producing region where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet.

“Our crack­down has not been enough,” he conceded.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has been warning of rising drug use in Cambo­dia for years. It has said that the actual number of users could be as high as 75,000.

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