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City methadone programmes treat over 4,000 addicts

Update: July, 13/2016 - 10:50
Drug addicted people receives methadone under a detoxication programme in HCM City. — Photo

HCM CITY — The methadone detoxication programme in HCM City has had the desired effect and contributed to security and social order, the city People’s Committee has reported.

The pilot programme began in 2008 and now includes 19 methadone treatment centres across the city, where a total of 4,029 patients have been treated, the city’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Committee reported on Monday.   

Trần Ngọc Du, director of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affair’s Social Evils Prevention Department, said the current number of methadone treatment patients only constitute half the targeted number.

The city plans to set up three more centres in late 2016, to accommodate an additional 1,500 patients.

Nguyễn Thị Hồng Phượng, director of the Consultative and Drug Rehabilitation Centre under the city’s Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Department, said the facility had treated 359 drug addicts during two years ( May, 2014 - May, 2016).

At present, 287 patients are being treated at Ms. Phượng’s centre. “"After a period of methadone treatment, many patients recovered well and reintergrated into the community. Most found jobs and a stable life,” she said.  

Dr. Phạm Thanh Hiếu of District 8’s Preventive Health Centre said free methadone was supplied to over 300 drug addicts, half of whom  didn’t reside in the district. He said some patients stopped treatment but most addicts were detoxicated successfully.

The city’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Committee said the methadone detoxification programme, funded to the tune of VNĐ18.345 billion (US$823,000), had met the aspirations of drug addicts as well as of their families and the community.

However, the programme has met with funding difficulties after international organisations cut down their aid and the Vietnamese Government’s budget is limited, according to Du. — VNS

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