A patient in Dien Bien province taking methadone therapy (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed relevant ministries and agencies to improve the efficiency of a programme to treat drug addiction by methadone therapy.

The programme, implemented by the Ministry of Health (MoH), reaped positive results after 10 years and received praises from the international community.

Accordingly, the system of legal documents, mechanisms, policies and instructions for addiction treatment by the therapy is mostly completed, reducing the number of drug addicts, law violations and HIV infections.

In addition, it has helped to improve patients’ health and raise their living conditions, thus ensuring social order and safety.

However, the programme’s implementation faces various difficulties, particularly in human resources, discrimination towards drug addicts and communication work to call for their participation in the programme.

To maintain and raise the programme’s effectiveness, the MoH has been asked to cooperate with the Ministry of Public Security; the Ministry of Justice; and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) to propose amendments and supplements to regulations on rehabilitation and treatment for drug addicts, as well as step up monitoring of and support for relevant agencies in the programme’s implementation.

The Health Ministry has also been required to enhance information technology application in the programme’s activities and provide related documents and information to media agencies.

Meanwhile, authorities in provinces and cities nationwide have been tasked with ensuring facilities and resources for the programme and bolstering communication work in localities.
 
According to the MoLISA, there are about 222,580 drug addicts nationwide, most of them under 35. Of that, 8 percent started using drugs when they were adolescents.-VNA