A patient is treated with  methadone (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Hanoi aims to provide methadone treatment for 8,500 drug addicts across the city in 2016.

Other targets include getting nearly 800 addicts under compulsory drug detoxification, with more than half of them new to treatment, and about 2,800 others will voluntarily undergo drug detoxification at local centres or their home.

Vocational training will be provided for hundreds of post-detoxification addicts, while staff at all levels will receive training to expand their capacity.

The city also plans to mobilise different resources for the work, while strengthening its monitoring and supervision of the implementation and management of drug detoxification.

Relevant bodies and sectors will promote communication campaigns to raise public awareness of drug addiction and the detoxification process.

Hanoi is home to approximately 16,000 drug addicts. The locality has encouraged addicts to join the local voluntary drug detoxification centres and use methadone treatment.

The methadone treatment programme was initially piloted in Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City in 2008 and then expanded to a national scale.

After a 12-month treatment course, the percentage of patients at a high risk of depression drops to 15 percent from 80 percent. Many gain weight and see their physical and mental health stabilise. Meanwhile, the crime rate amongst drug users sinks to 1.3 percent from 40.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Health.

The medication has saved over 1 trillion VND (47.6 million USD) per year for 13,000 addicts in 11 cities and provinces, as a drug user may spend 230,000 VND (10 USD) on heroin a day, meaning nearly 84 million VND (4,000 USD) a year.-VNA