Fellow Since 2001
Rehabilitation and Re-entry Program
This profile was prepared when Jurairat Swatdiparp was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
A former probation officer, Jurairat has seen hundreds of people of all ages struggle with drug addition, finding only temporary relief in Thailand's existing public and private rehabilitation programs. Building on her experience with addicts and exposure to alternative rehabilitation programs in the United States, Jurairat has designed a treatment model that helps pre-teen and teen addicts turn their lives around–permanently. The first of its kind in Thailand, the model has attracted attention nationwide for its success in treating addiction, its integration of addicts into the broader community, and its reliance on recovered addicts for ongoing management of the center. Residents spend a minimum of eighteen months in treatment, during which time they gain stability from peers, learn marketable skills, contribute to the center's daily operations, and participate in community activities. A strict daily regimen balances opportunities for psychological healing with pursuit of external objectives, and fosters a supportive environment among peers. In addition, residents' frequent interaction with the community dissolves prejudice toward drug users and inspires a nurturing relationship between community members and the center's residents. Through three primary strategies for spreading her idea, Jurairat expects to see her treatment model, or elements of it, reach communities nationwide.