|Since the programme began in 2012 only 204 people have been treated so far while authorities had hoped to treat 700 by next year.— VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City's two-year-old community-based treatment for drug addicts has not proven very successful due to various reasons, including the fact that admission for treatment is voluntary.
Since the programme began in 2012 only 204 people have been treated so far while authorities had hoped to treat 700 by next year, according to a report from the Counselling Centre for Drug Addiction Treatment in Thu Duc District released at a workshop to review the programme last Friday.
The centre is in charge of the programme. Le Van Quy, its chief, said it fails to attract addicts because it is voluntary and they lack the resolve to go through with it.
Besides, many are afraid to come for treatment because the centre has to report about them to local authorities for monitoring, and they are wary of being branded ex-addicts, he said.
The cost of the programme could be too high for many addicts, he admitted. It costs VND3.7 million-5.34 million (US$176-254) depending on the duration — 30 or 90 days for inpatients and 6 or 12 months for outpatients.
Nguyen Xuan Lap, head of the Social Evils Prevention Department, was also unhappy with the programme's results.
It is very important that drug users should be determined to rehabilitate themselves if it is to succeed, he said. Addicts should be provided with jobs afterwards, he said, adding this would help prevent recidivism.
The city has an estimated 19,000 addicts.
The programme, the first of its kind in the country, is aimed at reducing the number of addicts being treated at rehabilitation centres from 63 per cent now to 20 per cent by 2015 and 6 per cent by 2020.
It provides treatment facilities in communities.
Patients can continue to work during the treatment, while jobs be provided by local authorities to unemployed ones.
There are more than 204,000 addicts in the country of whom nearly 30 per cent have criminal records. — VNS