Neak Yuthea, deputy secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), has instructed the Kratie provincial authorities to compile statistics on the number of drug users in the province’s villages and communes. The data will be used to develop plans and measures for effective treatment and rehabilitation plans.

Yuthea and Tuy Bun Sereyroth Mony, deputy provincial governor and chairman of the Kratie Provincial Drug Control Committee, co-chaired a December 6 meeting to review the progress of the fight against drugs in the province, according to the National Police.

During the meeting, Yuthea instructed the anti-drug committee officials to consider the management and organisation of their work to effectively control the drug problem in the province.

The tasks he suggested included the preparation of an action plan for the implementation of anti-drug work. The plan should be devised in the spirit of the NACD’s September 15 guidelines.

“You must establish clear support and monitoring mechanisms for drug users for treatment and rehabilitation. You should prepare detailed statistics on the number of drug users in each village and commune in the province, and develop plans and measures for their treatment,” he said.

He added that the provincial authorities should also strengthen mechanisms from the provincial level to the commune level. They should be based on existing guidelines, which aim to effectively implement the government’s safe village-commune policy.

Bun Sereyroth Mony outlined the present work of the provincial committee, noting that it has actively implemented the regulations and guidelines that have been laid down in the past. This included education campaigns, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as the control of precursor chemicals, all of which was done to maintain public well-being, in accordance with the will of the government.

On the day of the meeting, 71 people were arrested in 22 drug-related cases nationwide. The authorities seized 55.06 grammes of methamphetamine.

Am Sam Ath, operations director at rights group LICADHO, has previously suggested that the most important step is for all individuals to stay away from drugs. He noted that this applied equally to law enforcement officials.

“The rules must be applied equally to all in order to prevent drug use, because it destroys society and valuable human resources,” he said.