Meetings respond to anti-drug action month hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA)Meetings were held in Hanoi and the northern province of Nam Dinh on June 16-17 to respond to the Action Month on Drug Prevention and Control and the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (June 26).

This year’s action month, themed “Protecting youths from drug danger”, aims to intensify coordination between ministries, sectors and offices involved in communications to raise public awareness of drug-related crimes and their impacts, and increase the community’s responsibility for the combat.

At the Hanoi meeting on June 16, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh stressed that protecting the public, especially the youths, from drugs and addictive substances, is an urgent task requiring synchronous and effective preventive measures.

He asked the Ministry of Education and Training to incorporate the fight against drugs into extracurricular activities in the beginning of each semester.

The Ministry of Public Security was requested to crack down on drug crimes and particularly eradicate hot spots in schools, ensuring healthy education environment for students.

The Ministry of Information and Communications is tasked to closely monitor Internet and social media to prevent drug abuse from spreading as well as impose strict punishments on violations.

United Nations Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pratibha Mehta expressed wish that ministries, agencies, businesses and the entire society would actively act to raise awareness of drugs’ harmful effects and provide support for drug dependents.
During the Nam Dinh meeting on June 17, head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai asked ministries and offices to synchronously carry out measures to raise public awareness, renew drug detoxification methods, and help addicts give up drugs and reintegrate into the community.

She stressed the crucial role played by police, armed and customs forces in the fight, urging people to denounce drug-related criminals in order to reduce the number of criminals.

Christopher Batt, UNODC Officer-In-Charge in Vietnam, stated that UNODC and other UN offices are joining hands with the Vietnamese relevant agencies in developing policies and seeking legitimate treatment therapies to address challenges caused by drug dependence.

According to a 2015 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 246 million people aged 15 to 64, or 5 percent of the world population, used drugs in 2013, and 1.64 million drug addicts were living with HIV/AIDS.

2015 marked the first year in more than two decades that the number of drug addicts in Vietnam decreased by more than 4,000 compared to the previous year.

As of January 2016, there were about 200,000 drug addicts in the country.-VNA