Nguyen Song Chi Trung from the Centre for Technology Transfer in HIV and Addiction Treatment under the Ho Chi Minh City Medical University speaks at the conference (Photo: soha.vn)

Ho Chi Minh City (VNA) – About 3 million young Vietnamese are affected by mental and psychological problems but only 20 percent of them receive medical treatment, while the rest resort to alcohol, tobacco, and drug, said a doctor in Ho Chi Minh City.

Nguyen Song Chi Trung from the Centre for Technology Transfer in HIV and Addiction Treatment under the Ho Chi Minh City Medical University shared the information at a recent conference on mental health and drug use among youths.

According to Trung, there are many reasons leading to drug use among young people, such as the pressure of self-assertion, peer pressure, being a victim of abuse, divorced parent, and poverty. They often come to drug as a new experiment, however, some turn into addicts.

Trung said the family plays a key role in keeping young people away from stimulants. Parents need to equip themselves with knowledge on early symptoms of mental health problems and help their children get life skills to be able to deal with challenges at school and in society, he advised.

He recommended avoiding ostracism and discrimination against young drug users as the practice can hamper their treatment and rehabilitation.

According to the World Health Organisation, half of psychological disorders start at the age of 14, most going unnoticed or untreated. 

A UNICEF’s study of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing among children and young people in Vietnam this year showed the average rate of having mental health problems among people aged 14 – 18 was 12 percent. The most common disorders were depression, anxiety disorder, loneliness, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.-VNA