Nearly 53,000 drug users receive Methadone treatment to cure addiction hinh anh 1Patients receive Methadone treatment in Bac Ninh province. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Nearly 53,000 drug users in Vietnam has received Methadone treatment to cure their addiction since the treatment was first piloted in Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong in April 2008.

Director of the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control under the Health Ministry Nguyen Hoang Long said Methadone has become available in all 63 provinces and cities nationwide, with legal and technical regulations for the treatment completed.

Research projects conducted by the Health Ministry and localities all showed that Methadone treatment has reduced remarkably the use of drugs among patients. After 24 months, only 15.8 percent of patients under Methadone still use heroin. The frequency of use also dropped from 3-5 times a day before treatment to 2-3 times a month after 24 months of treatment.

Besides, the Methadone therapy also contributed to reducing the transmission of HIV through blood. The rate of HIV infections among drug users decreased from 30 percent in 2001-2002 to 9.5 percent in 2016.

The number of new HIV infections each year went down to 10,000 in 2015, from the 30,000 recorded in 2006 and 2007.

The provision of Methadone treatment will be expanded in the time ahead, focusing on localities with many drug users and HIV/AIDS patients, while the quality of services will be improved and information technology will be used to manage patients in treatment, the Health Ministry said./.