Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged relevant ministries and the community at large to apply more systematic measures to ensure the effectiveness of drug addiction prevention and control, as well as treatment and rehabilitation.

Chairing a meeting in Hanoi on November 3 on drug addiction management, he pointed out that drug abuse was still prevalent, with a rising number of drug addicts.

The PM asked for further research to be conducted and effective response measures to be proposed.

He also requested prompt adjustments of the legal system to make sure that human and citizen’s rights, as well as the common interest of the community, are fully observed in the fight against addiction.

Along with issuing legal documents and guidelines, ministries and authorised agencies should increase the supervision of addicts, while enhancing public awareness campaigns on addiction prevention, he said.

At the same time, localities should convert a number of mandatory drug detoxification centres to voluntary centres in order to manage addicts better, he proposed.

According to a report by the Ministry of Public Security, drug abuse is a problem in every province, in 90 percent of districts, and in around 70 percent of wards and communes.

The country currently has 10 drug abuse and HIV/AIDS hotspots, with Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City and northern Son La province recording the highest number of drug addicts and HIV/AIDS cases, the report said.

At the meeting, ministries and localities mentioned a number of difficulties in implementing drug detoxification programmes, including the unsystematic legal framework, a lack of investment and personnel, and poor coordination between ministries and localities.

They also pointed out the high rate of relapses after rehab and the social stigma against drug addicts./.