Over 80 patients flee Krabi drug rehab centre over alleged abuses
Over 80 patients flee Krabi drug rehab centre over alleged abusesLegacy

More than 80 patients escaped from a drug rehabilitation centre on Koh Sriboya, an island in the southern province of Krabi, over alleged abuses by the Thai authorities.

A community leader on Sriboya Island reached out to officers from Khlong Kanan Police Station for assistance, as residents grew concerned about approximately 80 patients who had absconded from a drug rehabilitation centre and congregated at a pier to cross over to the mainland of Krabi.

Around 30 police officers and officials from the administrative office promptly responded to the situation. Despite the authorities’ efforts to persuade the patients to return to the rehabilitation centre, they adamantly refused, expressing their desire to reunite with their families at home.

One of the escapees told ThaiRath that he and others had to escape because they could no longer bear the abusive behaviour of the officers inside the centre. They were violently punished while some had even died inside the centre.

According to the escapees, some patients who fully recovered from drug addiction were not allowed to return home because officers wanted them to help them with their work and take care of others. They could not find a solution to the issue and decided to run away.

The Thai authorities dedicated over two hours to persuade the patients to go back to the rehabilitation centre but they remained resolute in their desire to return home. Consequently, everyone was escorted to the Khlong Kanan Police Station to await pickup by their families.

It remains undisclosed whether authorities will proceed with further investigations regarding the allegations against the officers at the drug rehabilitation centre.

In a related report, more than 200 teenagers escaped from the Klong Gom School’s drug rehabilitation centre in July of 2021. The escape occurred after one of them was beaten to death by an official at the centre.

Some families that sent their relatives with drug addiction to rehabilitation centres have come forward to seek justice after their family members mysteriously died in the centres.

Some former patients who left rehab centres have also revealed to the public the abusive treatment, lack of food, unhygienic accommodation, and other issues within the rehabilitation centres.

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Author: Petch Petpailin