National Geographic : 1985 Feb
Spectacular treatment of addicts at Tham Krabok Monastery north of Bangkok (left) results in a 70 percent success rate,accordingto its records. The ten-dayfree treatmentbegins with a vow to Buddha never to use narcotics again.Then patients are given herbal medicine that makes them vomit immediately (below left). The monks, who have treated80,000 since 1959, say the medicine "clears poisonous drugresidue from the body and helps eliminate the physical desire for drugs." Herbalsteam baths, milder tonics, and herbalpills, along with continuous counseling, are part of the regimen. Most of the 100,000 to 300,000 heroinaddicts in Thailand inject the drug. Easily purchased,it is sold in colored tubes (below) for less than one dollar each. Malaysia, one of the largest importers of Golden Triangle heroin,now counts 350,000 addicts. Herbalteas are also part of the cure dispensed by a Malay healercalled a bomoh, who paintsIslamic verses on the chests of his patients (right). Some 25 bomohs treat addictionin Malaysia, and authoritiessay the cure rate is about 60 percent.