El entorno de políticas de “cero drogas” en Tailandia ha llevado al ingreso de una nueva sustancia, causando estragos entre quienes la consumen. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

By Bangkok Post

The deaths of nine people last week from the overdose of a deadly "new" drug -- a combination of heroin, ketamine, methamphetamine and sleep medication -- is a shock. The bizarre deaths, so many in one day, were unprecedented. Six were under the jurisdiction of Phraya Krai police station, and the rest reported by the Sai Mai and Suthisan police stations.

The term "k-nom pong" -- "powdered milk ketamine" -- baffles the public. The authorities are also looking into another ketamine concoction called "Talaysai", which is much stronger than the milk powder formula.

Readers may notice news of narcotics crackdowns appearing almost daily in the newspaper, but efforts to root out the problem go nowhere. Rarely do the police or the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) net the "big fish" of drug dealing operations, as the catch are mostly low-level drug dealers and users, mostly young people.

Some Thais may recall the "war on drugs", an initiative by then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2003, in which over 2,500 people were killed, mostly small dealers, as police responded to pressure to get results. Public outrage caused the Thaksin government to step back. The latest incident speaks volumes about Thailand's drug problem, which is a mess. Police are still looking for a clue as to who the producers are. Without a major catch, the situation looks like a losing battle.