The Prime Minister has freshly issued Direction No. 32/CT-TTg requesting relevant agencies and localities work together closely to maximize the use of Methadone in detoxifying drug addicts.

The crucial role of alternative therapies in preventing HIV/AIDS and reducing addicts’ drug demand to help ensure security and social order was underlined in the direction.

Methadone has been widely used to assist addicts in weaning off taking in drug since 2012 after the Government issued Decree No. 96/2012/ND-CP that stipulated the treatment of substance abuse by alternative medicines.

By October 15, 2014, however, only 38 out of the 63 provinces and centrally-run cities applied the therapy, benefiting 21,613 addicts, who accounted for 12 percent of the recorded drug users and 27 percent of the targeted 80,000 by the end of 2015.

In the new direction, the PM asked the provincial and municipal People’s Committees to promptly update the number of drug users and set up adequate Methadone treatment centres while requesting the centres currently providing Methadone treatment accelerate therapy admissions for drug addicts.

Local authorities are also required to further simplify administrative procedures to make it easier for drug users seeking alternative therapies, and coordinate with relevant agencies to provide advice and vocational training to the detoxified.

The Ministry of Health is tasked with directing and working with relating agencies to safeguard the sufficient provision of Methadone.

Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) has long been carried out in more than 80 countries and territories, benefiting over 1 million drug users.-VNA