|A health official in Thanh Hóa Province presents information on programme against addiction and HIV/AIDS prevention— VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has called for the involvement of the entire political system and the public in the fight against drug crimes, which have recently shown complicated developments.
Chairing a national teleconference on drug control in Hà Nội, the PM expressed his concern that despite the discovery and strict punishment of many drug cases, drug crimes are yet to decline and drug abuse among young people is on the rise, especially in big cities such as Hà Nội, HCM City, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and Vũng Tàu.
Without strong and drastic actions, the situation will become serious, he warned, adding that new types of drugs, especially synthetic ones, are not only smuggled into the country but also recently produced in Hà Nội.
Deputy Minister of Public Security Lê Quý Vương said heroin and synthetic drugs are smuggled in Việt Nam from abroad, particularly in border areas of the northwestern and north central regions. Notably, drug trafficking from Laos this year has increased by 4.6 times from last year, with more sophisticated tricks.
According to Vương, the illegal trading and transport of synthetic drugs, particularly “ice” meth, surged from last year, mostly from China, Laos, Cambodia and Western African countries. A total of 19,333 drug crimes were discovered during 2016, with more than 31,000 suspects arrested.
He also reported that there are nearly 211,000 drug addicts in the country, up 10,600 from 2015.
Commenting on the cause of below-expectation drug detoxification work, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyễn Trọng Đàm said many localities are yet to pay due attention to the work.
In the northern provinces of Điện Biên, Lai Châu and Nam Định, the funding for the work only meets 2-4 per cent of the demand while staffs of rehabilitation centres lack necessary skills.
Several centres are overcrowded, making it easier for drug addicts to stage breakout and flee, he said.
Health Minister Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said drug addicts in many localities have been given access to methadone therapy, fulfilling 63 per cent of the target.
She vowed readiness to offer medicines and training to medical staff but local authorities must arrange personnel to monitor the effort.
Concluding the event, the PM asked the border and coast guards, and public security forces to increase crackdowns on drug crimes and give strict sentences to drug ring leaders.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was required to spread drug rehabilitation models while the Health Ministry should multiply effective treatment.
He requested localities allocate sufficient funding for the effort.
The media is responsible for raising public awareness of drug’s danger and competent agencies will recheck drug detoxification policies. VNS