HCM CITY (VNS)— Another 250 methadone clinics will be opened around the country by 2015 to treat 80,000 intravenous drug users, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has said.
The methadone treatment programme, launched in HCM City and northern Hai Phong City in 2008, has been expanded to 20 cities and provinces nationwide, with 60 clinics offering maintenance therapy to nearly 13,000 addicts, Long told a conference held in Ha Noi on Tuesday.
There are no serious side-effects or fatalities associated with the therapy, he said.
It only costs patients VND15,000 (US$0.7) a day for the treatment, he added.
According to a study of 1,000 patients done by the Ministry of Health at six methadone clinics in Hai Phong, the therapy improved patients' health as well as quality of life significantly.
Many had stable jobs, resulting in a steep fall in illegal behaviours, the study found. —VNS