Thailand should adopt an integrated approach to tackle the problems of drug abuse and addiction, Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana says.

Strategies to solve the problems need to be adjusted, Mr Suwaphan said, adding legal measures alone would not solve the drug scourge.

He was speaking at a meeting in Bangkok Thursday which he chaired to discuss social measures to help curb the impacts of drug abuse and addiction on communities.

The meeting was aimed at solving the problem of overcrowded jails and preventing an increase in methamphetamine use. Thailand has one of the world's highest prison population rates and about 70% of prisoners are incarcerated for drug-related offences, he said.

The session was attended by officials including permanent justice secretary Chanchao Chaiyanukij and the president of the Supreme Court Veerapol Tungsuwan.

Drug abuse problems are diverse, Mr Suwaphan noted, saying they can cause family and social issues, health problems, economic problems, or serious legal issues. Several measures must be implemented to deal with drug problems and they must be applied simultaneously, Mr Suwaphan said.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Sanofi Pasteur