The monks of a Buddhist temple in Thailand have been cleared out after they were sent to rehab for all testing positive for methamphetamines.
Officials instructed police to look for any possible drug use in the Thai province of Phetchabun.
According to reports, police started hanging around schools, factories, and temples looking for drug users and dealers to send to rehab, but they never anticipated running into monks as a contributing cause.
"As a community leader, I was frightened because I never thought the monks would be addicted to drugs," village headman Sungyut Namburi said. "I never thought that drugs would spread to temples."
Sungyut had been instructed to inspect the temple by locals, but when he met the four monks, it was immediately clear they were addicts based solely on their erratic behavior.
Drug tests from all four temples and two from another temple proved that meth had been detected in all of them.
Several monks, including the head monk at one temple, admitted to being addicts after the tests showed they had been abusing drugs for years.
"When I inspected the abbot's shelter, I was stunned because it was a mess," Sungyut said, adding, "they are misbehaving monks, and they should leave the monkhood if they can't follow and practice the disciplines."
As of Wednesday, all the monks and other addicts have been put into rehab, said local official Niti Rungjaruenkij.
Due to the "inappropriate" nature of monks coming into rehab centers, Sungyut noted that the monks initially had to abandon monkhood.
Sungyut said the good news is that they can become monks again after detoxing from drugs.
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