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The Ministry of Public Health is determined to make 1,000 secondary schools across Thailand alcohol-free zones to discourage new drinkers.
Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Supakit Sirilak instructed public health officials around Thailand via a video conference on Wednesday to prevent youth from developing an alcohol addiction.
The meeting was aimed at reducing alcohol-related accidents on the road ahead of the New Year Festival. Driving under the influence is a major cause of road trauma in Thailand, he said.
According to the National Statistical Office, more than 6.9 million people aged 15 and above consumed alcohol last year, accounting for 28% of all people who drank in 2017.
Up to 152,300 young people between 15-19 years of age were found to be drinking last year. They accounted for 13.6% of the total number of teenagers in Thailand.
Given the rising number of young drinkers, the Ministry of Public Health will transform 1,068 secondary schools into alcohol-free zones and urge those suffering from alcoholism to go to a rehab center.