Kicking the habit: Every Buddhist monk in Thai temple tests positive for crystal meth

29 November 2022, 17:45

The temple has been left empty
The temple has been left empty. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

A Buddhist temple in Thailand has been left without any monks, after they were all sent away for taking drugs.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

All four monks at the temple in Phetchabun, in the north of the country, tested positive for methamphetamines, according to the AFP news agency.

An official said the offending monks, which include the abbot, have been sent to a rehabilitation centre to recover.

They were caught out after being made to take urine tests on Monday, which all four men failed. Officers did not say why the temple came to the attention of the police.

The official, Boonlert Thintapthai, said that the "temple is now empty of monks and nearby villagers are concerned they cannot do any merit-making".

Buddhist monks in Thailand
Buddhist monks in Thailand. Picture: Getty

Merit-making is an important part of Buddhist tradition, where believers do good deeds, gaining a protective force. In this case that is giving food to the monks.

Regional leaders will try to bring in some new monks to the temple to assuage locals' concerns, Mr Thinthapthai said.

Methamphetamine has become a big problem for Thailand in recent years. Police seized the highly addictive drug more times last year than ever before, according to the UN.

Former drug addict calls for dealing with drugs as public health issue

The drugs are brought into the country from Myanmar and Laos, as a transit point on their way to other countries.

The pills are sold on the streets with a value of around £1.17.

Read more: Zombie virus trapped deep in Siberian permafrost revived after 50,000 years

Read more: Russian billionaire dies in mysterious Monaco helicopter crash - the third crypto tycoon to die suspiciously

The news comes amid a clampdown on drugs after a former police officer sacked for methamphetamine possession killed 37 people during a shooting at a nursery.