Vietnam records nearly 20,000 new drug users every year

Nearly 20,000 new drug users are recorded in Vietnam every year, it was reported at a conference to share experience in detoxification and re-integration of ex-addicts into society held in Hanoi on December 25. 

At the event held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, participants said the appearance of many new kinds of drugs and psychotropic substances is adding a further complication to authorised agencies’ controlling efforts. Additionally, most of synthetic drug users encounter psychological health problems, and many of them have committed crimes. 

Reports show that despite a financial shortage and certain flaws in legal documents, some localities have found effective models to rehabilitate addicts and help them re-integrate into society such as home-based and voluntary detox, using herbal medicine Cedemex, and supporting businesses which employ ex-drug users. 

Nguyen Dinh Van, an ex-addict (Source: VNA) 

At present, there are 142 drug rehabilitation centres across the country with 123 of them run by the State and 19 by individuals and private organisations. 

More than 3,500 out of the 11,157 communes, wards and towns nationwide are free of drug and prostitution crimes. Commune-level voluntary social working groups have also been set up in 39 provinces and cities to participate in local crime fight, localities reported. 

At the conference, participants pointed out to some provinces’ neglect of the work, noting the lax management of the rehabilitated addicts which has exposed them to a risk of relapse. Local governments rely on families and social organisations for the management and vocational teaching for ex-addicts. Rehabilitated addicts also meet with difficulties in accessing loans and employment due to discrimination. 

Attendees asked the Government, ministries and sectors to amend existing policies to improve vocational training quality for former drug addicts and to upgrade consulting and detox centres. Communication activities must be stepped up to erase the discrimination.