La dura y punitiva guerra contra la metanfetamina en Tailandia no protege a las personas que la usan. 

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Despite an aggressive crackdown on drugs, Thailand’s fight against methamphetamines is failing, activists say. With supply and demand rising, these highly addictive substances, commonly known as “meth”, are now the drug of choice.

Photo: Sean Kimmons/IRIN

“The punitive measures never work,” Bijay Pandey, chair of the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs, told IRIN. “I really don’t think the strategy addresses anything to promote the health and rights of those who use drugs.”

Thai authorities, under pressure by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - a 10-member economic bloc - to achieve a drug-free region by 2015, stepped up efforts in 2011 to stem the upward trend of usage of meth and other amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS).

Advocates warn that the drug trade has not been deterred by strict tactics that have led to staggering arrest figures, stiffer penalties for drug offences, heightened stigma for drug users, and an upsurge in compulsory drug treatment. The United Nations has criticized this as ineffective, with high relapse rates and a threat to detainee health and human rights.

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