Thailand burns $80m of illegal drugs

Thailand incinerated about $80 million worth of drugs, mainly methamphetamine, from over 130,000 seizures across the country as officials warned there were an increasing number of very young users.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra presided over the drugs burning ceremony at an industrial estate in Ayutthaya, near Bangkok that destroyed 821 kilograms (nearly a ton) of drugs, including about seven million tablets of methamphetamine, also known as yaba. Quantities of heroin, opium, cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy were also set alight in high temperature furnaces that authorities said would prevent drug fumes from rising into the air.

More than 93,000 people have been treated in rehabilitation centres since October 2010, according to the public health ministry. Around 12,000 of them were between the ages of seven and 17, a number which it said had increased sharply in recent years. Thailand, along with other countries in the region, has seen a marked increase in seizures of methamphetamine.

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