Drug-related harm among people who inject drugs in Thailand: summary findings from the Mitsampan Community Research ProjectReportar como inadecuado

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Harm Reduction Journal

, 10:21

First Online: 07 October 2013Received: 09 July 2012Accepted: 24 September 2013


BackgroundFor decades, Thailand has experienced high rates of illicit drug use and related harms. In response, the Thai government has relied on drug law enforcement to address this problem. Despite these efforts, high rates of drug use persist, and Thailand has been contending with an enduring epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus HIV among people who inject drugs IDU.

MethodsIn response to concerns regarding drug-related harm in Thailand and a lack of research focused on the experiences and needs of Thai IDU, the Mitsampan Community Research Project was launched in 2008. The project involved administering surveys capturing a range of behavioral and other data to community-recruited IDU in Bangkok in 2008 and 2009.

ResultsIn total, 468 IDU in Bangkok were enrolled in the project. Results revealed high rates of midazolam injection, non-fatal overdose and incarceration. Syringe sharing remained widespread among this population, driven primarily by problems with access to syringes and methamphetamine injection. As well, reports of police abuse were common and found to be associated with high-risk behavior. Problems with access to evidence-based drug treatment and HIV prevention programs were also documented. Although compulsory drug detention centers are widely used in Thailand, data suggested that these centers have little impact on drug use behaviors among IDU in Bangkok.

ConclusionsThe findings from this project highlight many ongoing health and social problems related to illicit drug use and drug policies in Bangkok. They also suggest that the emphasis on criminal justice approaches has resulted in human rights violations at the hands of police, and harms associated with compulsory drug detention and incarceration. Collectively, the findings indicate the urgent need for the implementation of evidence-based policies and programs in this setting.

KeywordsInjection drug use Drug law enforcement Harm reduction Community-based participatory research Thailand Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1477-7517-10-21 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Kanna Hayashi - Lianping Ti - Nadia Fairbairn - Karyn Kaplan - Paisan Suwannawong - Evan Wood - Thomas Kerr

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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