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Last updated : September 12, 2003

Narcotics Control Division

1. Introduction: Brief history, structure, roles and responsibilities

1.1 Brief history
Control of narcotics in Thailand has begun for centuries since opium was the only known narcotic drug. The first regulation concerning opium was proclaimed in 1360, according to Criminal Code. The Code allowed authorized officers to imprison traffickers as well as opium addicts until they were able to overcome addiction.

The Morphine and Cocaine Act B.E. 2456 (1913) prohibited importation into kingdom and international trade of some morphine and cocaine. Thailand also joined the International Opium Convention held in Hague, Netherlands in 1914. The objective of the Convention was to suppress the use of the harmful narcotics. As a result, the Narcotics Act B.E. 2465 (1922) was promulgated to assure proper control of importation, sale, possession, production and consumption of narcotics.

In 1934, declaration of Cannabis Act to protect the public from being addicted to cannabis. And In 1939, The Kratom Act was promulgated to limit used and propagation of Kratom trees (Mitragyna speciosa ).

In June 1959, Thai government decided to abolish smoking and selling of opium after that had legally allowed since the reign of King Rama IV (around in 1857). Then, came the emerging time for new opium substitute, "heroin". Heroin rapidly spread among certain groups of population. The Narcotics Act B.E.2465 (1922) was then revised and raised the maximum penalty to death sentence. In addition, the Ministry of Public Health worked in close cooperation with The Ministry of Interior on the establishment of a sanatorium for treatment of the increasing amount of drug addicts in the north of Bangkok.

The problem of narcotics were not declined and has been considered as a global problem. Modern communication and transportation facilitates smuggling and illegal distribution of harmful narcotics all over the world. Since Thailand became a member of the single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961, the government has put every effort in cooperation with international organizations on combating illicit trafficking of narcotics. The Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 (1979) was consequently promulgated in order to govern enforcement, licensing, registration, importation, exportation, manufacture, purchase and exemption of narcotics drugs.

During the last decade, abuse of psychotropic substances has become a serious problem. Thai government began to deposit instruments of accession on joining the International Convention on Psychotropic Substances Act 1971. As a result, the psychotropic substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975) was promulgated to control the problem.

In order to face the problem of abuse of volatile substances such as thinners and lacquers which widely spread among young people, the Ministry of Public Health, therefore, promulgated the Emergency Decree on Prevention Against Abuse of Volatile Substances B.E. 2533 (1990)

1.2 Organization structure

1.3 Roles and responsibilities
The tasks of this division are: control and monitor the production, distribution, import, export and possession of narcotics and psychotropic substances which are legally used for medical and scientific purposes according to Narcotics Act and Psychotropic Substances Act. The Division fulfilled these tasks by issuing licenses and monitoring the licensees. It also provides and distributes narcotics and psychotropic substances to meet the local demand for medical uses. Another duty of this division is to safe guard the confiscated narcotics and destroy them when the case is decided by court.


2. Laws and regulation concern

2.1 The Psychotropic Substances ACT 1975 (B.E. 2518)
This act was enacted to control the psychotropic substances. The Act was directly resulted from the Convention of Psychptropic Substances 1971 of which Thailand is a member. Several regulations have been issued under the Act concerning enforcement, licensing, registration, importation, exportation, manufacturer, purchase of psychotropic substances.

2.2 The Narcotics Act 1979 (B.E. 2522)
The Act provides control measures on the production, import, export, possession of narcotics. Controlled substances include drug listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV of Single Convention on Narcotic Drug 1961 and some of controlled substances in Convention against illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

2.3 The Emergency Decree on Prevention Against Abuse Using of Volatile Substances 1990 (B.E 2533)
The Emergency Decree was promulgated with the objective to prevent the use of volatile substances such as thinners, lacquers, and synthetic or organic adhesive. It was found that a grate number of young people were addicted to volatile substances. Control and treatment measures as well as penalties are specified for all types of offences.

3. Pre-marketing Control Section
It's main responsibility is to issue licenses for production, sale, import, export and possession of psychotropic substances and narcotics specified in the Narcotics Act and Psychotropic Substances Act. It also issues registration certificates and permit of advertisement of psychotropic substances and narcotics which are used for medical and scientific purposes. This section is responsible for arranging the meetings of subcommittee and committee concerning the regulations of psychotropic substances, narcotics and volatile substances to consider the adjustment the laws concerned.
Another duty of this section is to collect and submit data and information required by international conventions since Thailand is a member of the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971 and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988.

4. Post-marketing Control Section
The main responsibility of this section is to control and supervise the production, import, export or possession of narcotics and the psychotropic substances. It also investigates cases concerning the illegal supply of those substances, cooperates with concerning agencies to suppress the ones who offend the law.

5. System Development Section
This section is responsible for planning and budgeting for the whole division. Then monitors and assesses that all activities are performed according to plans. It is also responsible for personnel development such as send personnel to attend lectures and training on pharmacy and narcotics. The other areas of responsibility are to develop the Division's information technology system, to study trends about the sale and abuse of uncontrolled drug in order to find ways to prevent these kind of activities.

6. The Narcotics Supply Section
It's main responsibility is to supply psychotropic substances and narcotics to be utilized for medical, scientific and industrial purposes. It also distributes psychotropic substances and narcotics to government and licensed privates hospitals throughout the country.

7. The confiscated Drugs Control Section
This section is responsible for taking confiscated drugs from scientific detection officials and safeguards them in the FDA's warehouse pending the lawsuits. It also responsible for the disposes or uses of these drugs when the cases are decided in the courts of first sentence.

 

THAI  FDA                 
Narcotics Control Division   
Food and Drug Administration    Ministry of Public Health
Tiwanon Road, Nonthaburi  11000
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