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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

UN Urges Thailand to End Forced Rehab

More than half the nation's addicts are mandated to rehab, but the UN has called this "counterproductive" and a violation of rights.

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In some rehabs, addicts are beaten or forced
into unpaid labor. Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman

04/24/12

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Sometimes rehab isn't a good thing. The United Nations is urging Thailand to end its program of mandatory drug rehabilitation for addicts, instead encouraging their own participation and community involvement in the recovery process. A recent UN report says that Thailand has forced drug rehabilitation on 65% of the 400,000 addicts in the country, while only 25% have undergone treatment voluntarily and 13% have taken it up. The UN has also condemned similar mandatory rehab programs in other southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, calling them "counterproductive" and claiming they violate the rights of drug users in some cases. A 2011 NGO Human Rights Watch report revealed how residents of some forced treatment centers are required to undertake hazardous and unpaid labor in agricultural production, garment making or construction and receive physical abuse if they do not comply. Earlier this month, 96 addicts escaped a compulsory drug rehab center in Vietnam, nearly half of the total residents being treated there.

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