Some British and American expats will tell you Thailand seems to have become more and more dangerous for expat teachers in recent years. In fact, that’s not true. With the tens of thousands of British, American and other foreign teachers currently teaching in Thailand, incidences of violence against them or even death are actually quite low. Most Thais too also make farang teachers feel very welcome, making Thailand itself a safe place to live for most foreigners.
There are, however, several sad incidents a year involving expat teachers in Thailand with the latest news involving the deaths of two farang teachers in Bangkok just this week.
According to the Bangkok Post, the two teachers, British citizen Charlie Milsom, 35, and American Jonathan Louis, 40, were discovered by one of the men’s Thai wife in a Rangsit, Bangkok apartment early Saturday morning. The two men were found sitting upright in chairs in the living room of the apartment shared by Jonathan Louis and his Thai wife of 14 years, Thamaporn Apison, 44. They had been dead for several hours.
Although investigations are only in the preliminary stages, Bangkok police say it’s possible the two men died of a drug overdose. What’s odd though, is the only drugs found in the apartment were an empty bottle of a drug rehabilitation medication and a packet of pills that are usually prescribed to treat drug addiction.
Thai police meanwhile say the deaths could possibly be attributed to a sleeping pill overdose, particularly as Khun Thamaporn had told them her husband had been taking sleeping pills due to stress.
The question one must ask, however, is this. Why would both men be taking sleeping pills, especially when the one man, Charlie Milsom, was only visiting his friend and probably didn’t have plans to spend the night? Not unless both men intended to commit suicide, and no-one has so far come forward to give any indication of that?
From the drugs found in the apartment it seems more likely at least one of the men was a recovering drug addict. That drug addicts often take overdoses of medication given to them to help them get off drugs is something every medical practitioner knows. Some drug addicts will even share their medication with equally addicted friends.
That could very well be the case here, particularly as the drug rehabilitation medication was found on the table beside the two men — empty.
Whatever the reason for their deaths, that two more western men have died in Thailand is very sad. Unfortunately, with so many westerners, men and women, still engaging in risky behavior in Thailand while believing bad things will never have to them, it’s hardly likely to be the last time we read about a situation like this.