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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Princess Mother National Institute on Drug Abuse Treatment (PMNIDAT)

Narcotic drug problem is global issue. Not only it does cause serious danger to addicts, it also causes problems to society and can affect the stability of the countries around the world. The United nation was well aware of these matters. With agreement of its member countries, UN has adopted Drug-Related Treaties that are applicable control measures in order to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, and to prevent their diversion into illicit channels, trafficking and drug abuse.

In Thailand Declaration of the Revolution council No.37 dated December 9th, 1958 stated that selling and using opium is illegal and prohibited. Because of this declaration the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Public Health had started to set up medical facility and rehabilitation center for drug addiction for the first time in Thailand. This first facility was located at Klong 5, Tumbol Rungsit, Amphur Thunyaburi, Pratumtani province and was named “The Government Opium Treatment Centre”.

Its operation began in January 1st, 1959 with two sections. First section was withdrawal treatment facility that could accommodate 1,000 patients and was under the responsibility of Department of Medical science, Ministry of public health. Second section was rehabilitation facility that could accommodate 3,000 patients and was under the responsibility Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Interior.

However having 2 departments operating the facility together was found to be difficult, therefore in January 1st, 1960 Department of Medical Science had handed over its responsibility of withdrawal treatment facility to Department of Skill Development and had also assigned Dr.Prayoon Norakarnpadoong to be an academic advisor.

Later on the Department of Skill Development realized that knowledge in medical technique was indeed needed for withdrawal treatment work therefore in April 12, 1962 they decided to transfer withdrawal treatment section together with budget, for setting up the clinic, back to department of medical science. The clinic then was named “Addiction treatment clinic”. To follow international system that has been proved to be work well, Department of Skill Development under Ministry of Interior finally transferred all it responsibility to Department of Medical Science , Ministry of Public Health in April 1st, 1964.

In 1961 Narcotic control board was set up not only to control the narcotics drug, but also to support works on addiction treatment and prevention. The board had requested the cabinet to build hospital for addiction treatment, but the construction was delayed because of the budget problem. However in 1964 Narcotic control board by Police General Prasert Rujiwong as a chairman had finally received 39,600,000 baht budget from the cabinet to build the hospital and within 18 months the building was ready to operate. It became the first permanent addiction treatment hospital in central area and was under the supervision of Ministry of Public Health.

Department of Medicine, Ministry of Public health had concerned that using the name “Hospital for addict” might discourage and embarrass the patients therefore they had asked his majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej for the hospital’s name. His majesty had given the name “Thanyarak” to the hospital in July 6th, 1966.  With gratefulness for his majesty the king’s kindness the July 6th became the establishment day of Thanyarak.


Thanyarak hospital was opened for addict patients in January 1st, 1967 with Dr. Prayoon Norakarnpadoong as its first Director. Following the international protocol the treatment system had been continuously developed.
In 1967-1970 the addiction treatment was divided into 3 phases
     1. Withdrawal phase for 7 days (inpatient only)
     2. Rehabilitation and counseling phase
     3. Follow up phase
However since 1971 the protocol has been changed to 4 phases
     1. Preparation phase
     2. Withdrawal phase
     3. Rehabilitation
     4. Follow up phase


In 1977 Administration building was used as outpatient withdrawal clinic. For heroin addiction patients they had to come every day and took the medicine 1 time a day for 21 days.  For any other addiction patients they could just have to come, get the medicine and take the medicine at home.

In 1980 Facility for female patient was opened with capacity of 50 beds.

In 1981 New workshop for skill learning and training for patient was opened to accommodate the rehabilitation and follow up phase.

In 1985 Under the support from UNDAF and the cooperation from UNESCO Wade ,Swedish foundation, Therapeutic community (TC) system had started. Thanyarak hospital’s officers and staffs were sent to visit and learn Sweden addiction treatment system. In January 10th, 1986 Thanyarak Therapeutic Community Center was set up with the help and consultation from UNESCO Wade’s staffs.


The work of TC and the treatment protocol developed for Thai people had been successful. Even though the treatment period could extend from 1 and a half-year to 2 years but it was successfully cured many heroin addicts.  Under the supervision of Director Dr.Thongchai Ounakelarb second and third Thanyarak Community Therapeutic centers each with 50-bed facility were opened in January 9th, 1989. Also in January 2nd, 1991 another community therapeutic center with 35-bed facility was set up especially for woman.

In 1991 Other than being treatment center, Thanyarak hospital had been assigned to be the addiction-training center for doctors, nurses, and medical staffs from all over the country. Two-story building was used as a permanent training building.

In 1992 Thanyarak hospital had sent out their staffs to work in the area of Doi Tung development project, one of the four flagship projects of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation, which is under Royal patronage of the Princess Mother, HRH Princess Srinagarindra.  With the local support from Mom Rajawongse Disnadda Diskul, the Principle Private Secretary to the Princess Mother, the staffs had worked on 1,000 days project to help solve addiction problem for hill tribe people. This project was started in response to Princess Mother’s speech “Are addicts human? If so, then ‘can we help them and give them a new life?’ If so, then we should do it”. This speech became the guideline for Thanyarak.

In this same year “Thanyarak study center” was also opened to educate the patient with general and career education. The center was supported by Patumthani provincial office of the non-formal and informal education. The coordinators and teachers were sent from Bureau of Special Education of Department of General Education, Ministry of Education.

In 1994  “Medical center in honor of his Majesty the king ” building was opened and used as permanent outpatient community therapeutic center. The building was built under the budget of 4,000,000 baht that was donated from Dr.Monkol and Dr.Vanida Watanakiatsan, Merry King Department story Ltd.

In 1994 Director General of Department of Medicine, Major General Dr.Witoon Sangsingkeaw, had supported the using of budget 187,600,502 baht to build new 5-story administration building.
To follow the royal decree; administrative infrastructure inside Department of Medicine was adjusted. In October 1st, 1995 Thanyarak was assigned to take care of all 5 provincial addiction treatment centers which were Northern addiction treatment center in Chiangmai, Southern addiction treatment center in Songkla, Northeastern addiction treatment center in Khonkaen, Pattanee province addiction treatment center, and Maehongsorn province addiction treatment center.


In 2000 The construction of new 5-story administration building had finished and opened for outpatients. The other divisions from the old building had also moved in.
In the same year the hospital had started the quality development plan. The objective was to improve the quality of the treatment system with better efficiency and higher standard.  The Director Major Dr.Boonreang Trireangwarawat had initiated many activities for quality development such as Excellent Service Behavior training, Organization Development seminar, and Continual Quality Improvement activity. This development plan had been done continuously and vigorously for many years. Finally in January 3rd, 2001 the Thanyarak hospital had officially received Hospital Accreditation (HA) from the Healthcare Accreditation Institute.

In 2000 With support from Narcotic Affair Section of United state Embassy, rehabilitation system for amphetamine addiction patient had been developed. The staffs were sent to train at Matrix Institute, Los Angeles, USA. Later on the Thanyarak Matrix Institute was set up and used as prototype to develop addiction clinics around the country. Matrix program that is the Cognitive behavior therapy was majorly used in addiction treatment in hospitals all over the country.

In 2001 The rehabilitation system that was better for treating young or teenager patients with amphetamine addiction had been developed. This new system was called FAST model and was applied to use in military operated schools, and temples that was set up to be rehabilitation center.

Providing information, news and knowledge to public is an important matter. Therefore in September 10th, 2001 addiction hotline 1165 was opened to provide consultation about addiction problem.

 In 2002 Department of Medical Sciences had adjusted their mission. Academic mission became as important as service mission. Therefore the decree was obtained in order to change “Thanyarak hospital” to present “Thanyarak institute”.


Other than providing treatment service for addict, Thanyarak institute also focused on developing the academic work such as doing research and developing knowledge and technology in medical science about addiction. Standard criteria to determine the treatment system had also been developed. Furthermore passing on the knowledge to addiction clinics and centers all over the country was also thanyarak priority.  In 2006 Thanyarak Director Dr.Viroj Weerachai had been chosen to be member of WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence. He was the third Thai that had been chosen to be in this panel.

In 2008 Thanyarak became the host in developing and accrediting all the addiction treatment centers around the county including both voluntary treatment system and compulsory treatment system. As the host in this matter Thanyarak had set up the agreement to earn the cooperation in developing and accrediting addiction treatment centers. On Friday June 6th, 2008 the agreement was signed by all stakeholders which were permanent secretary of Ministry of Public Health, Director General of Department of Medical Sciences, Director General of Department of Mental Health, Director General of Department of Probation, Director General of department of Juvenile Observation and Protection, Director General of Department of Correction, Director General of National office of Buddhism, Secretary General of office of Narcotics Control board, and Director of Healthcare Accreditation Institute.

In 2008 Thanyarak started the 4-month course for nurses to become specialist in nursing the addicts The course would increase the potential of professional nurses to have ability to follow the holistic nursing protocol, which include promoting good health, preventing the use of control substances in children, teenager, and general population, and treating and rehabilitating the addicts.

In 2008 The old administration building was renovated and used as the office for external affair coordinator in policy and strategy and in development and accreditation of addiction treatment centers. The building was named after Dr.Prayoon Norakarnpadoong as an honor to him who was the first Director of Thanyarak hospital.

During this decade Thanyarak institute has worked hard to keep up with addiction situation. It has developed efficient treatment protocol, passed on knowledge and gotten cooperation from different organization. These are all for one objective which is to return good people back to society.

At present Thanyarak institute is located in the area of 210 rais at 60 Pahonyothin Road, Tumbol Prachatipat, Amphur Thanyaburi, Pratumtani province. It provides both academic and treatment services for both outpatient and inpatient with facility of 200 beds for treatment and 600 beds for rehabilitation.
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 December 2012 )
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www.pmnidat.go.th, 60 Prachatipat Thanyaburi Pathumthani 12130 Tel 02-5310080-4