Narcotics Are a Risk For 92,000 Children

by | May 13, 2023 | Local News: Cannabis | 0 comments

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Research conducted by Mahidol University’s National Institute for Child and Family Development (NICFD) reveals that over 92,000 primary school-aged children in Thailand are at risk of being exposed to narcotics, particularly those growing up in low-income families with parents who use drugs. The study focused on 1,309 families residing in Bangkok slums with children up to six years old, finding that 6% of these families (83 in total) have parents or guardians with a history of drug addiction.A signpost banning cannabis and other illicit drugs is put up in front of a school run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

The survey estimates that approximately 154,800 impoverished families, including those with primary school-aged children, may have parents or guardians with a history of drug addiction. It is estimated that these households could have around 92,880 children in the specified age group. The study defines “poor families” as those receiving a 600-baht-a-month subsidy for six years since the birth of their children.

The research indicates that parents from low-income families are at least 2.4 times more likely to be exposed to narcotics and susceptible to drug addiction compared to those who do not meet the defined criteria. Additionally, approximately 60% of these parents tend to resort to violence in raising their children.

However, the study highlights a challenge in the form of disconnected databases, where information about drug addiction and child support subsidies are often not linked. While understanding the details of the subsidy is valuable for planning parental rehabilitation efforts, the lack of integration between the databases poses an obstacle.

To address these issues, Dr. Adisak Plitapolkarnpim, the NICFD’s director-general, recommends that the government prioritize investments in psychological training for primary school-aged children, aiming to help them control their inclination to experiment with drugs. Panadda Thanasettakorn, a NICFD lecturer, emphasizes the importance of adults creating a nurturing environment for children, free from violence, and enhancing their emotional resilience to resist the allure of narcotics.

Additionally, Dr. Apichat Jitcharoen, NICFD’s deputy director-general, raises concerns about the impact of cannabis on fetuses. A separate study conducted by the department explores the effects of cannabis use by pregnant women, particularly within impoverished communities, where the prevalence of smoking weed while pregnant has increased.

The research findings underscore the urgent need to address the risks faced by primary school-aged children in impoverished families with a history of drug addiction. By investing in psychological training and creating supportive environments, society can help prevent drug experimentation among children and protect their well-being. Moreover, considering the potential effects of cannabis on fetuses, it is crucial to raise awareness and provide appropriate support to pregnant women to ensure the healthy development of their unborn children.


Enrico Bratta

Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.


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Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.