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Pilot project gives addicts hope

Update: December, 04/2012 - 09:03

Dear the Editor,

I am a person addicted to Methadone. I very badly want to fit into a programme as soon as possible. I can pay as well. Just please let me know what I have to do. How much do I have to pay? Do I have to go everyday?

I live in Ha Noi but I am from Canada.


Dear Sir or Madam,

Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) has been piloted in Viet Nam since 2008 by the Ministry of Health. Their programme has been implemented in 15 cities and provinces so far, including Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Hoa Binh.

We have contacted the Ha Noi Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control and been told that this programme has been designed for Vietnamese addicts to rehabilitate for free. They have not had a foreigner join the programme so far.

The director of the centre, Le Nhan Tuan, said that you are welcome to visit them anytime for a consultation at Khu hanh chinh moi quan Ha Dong (Ha Dong District New Administrative Area), which is on the expanded To Hieu Street in the western part of the city. There they can check your eligibility for the programme. However, Tuan advised you to have an interpreter accompany you as they only provide consulting services in Vietnamese.

If you meet all the requirements for treatment at the centre, you will need to have a guarantee from an authorised office such as a diplomatic representative or place of work. In your case you can ask for a reference from the Canadian embassy. You would also have to sign an application form to voluntarily join the programme. The centre would then introduce you to a medical centre providing Methadone treatment nearby your residence, and you would have to go there everyday to drink the medicine at the site. The duration for the treatment can last years depending on the situation.

The treatment is currently free in almost all localities in Viet Nam. So far, only Hai Phong City has commercialised the treatment by opening a centre where people can come and pay for the treatment. Staff at the Ha Noi Centre estimated that the payment for one day in Hai Phong is VND10,000-17,000 (US$0.47-0.8).

Please visit the website for more information about MMT. — VNS

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