Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Recreational abuse of synthetic drugs is becoming increasingly popular among Vietnamese youth who want to get “high”. However, most youngsters are not aware of the long-term risks that the drugs might pose to the young mind, ending with consequences even more serious than traditional drugs.
Common synthetic drugs are methamphetamine, ecstasy, ketamine, amphetamine, cannabinoid--all of which offer varying mental states of heightened sensations. Unlike traditional drugs, users tend to develop easily-recognised symptoms such as physical and mental malfunction and exhaustion.
“Synthetic drug users do not depend on the drugs like traditional ones. They can take synthetic drugs once every week or every month without having addictions. Many young people think synthetic drugs are not addictive so they are easily lured to use them many times,” a representative of the drug crime investigation sub-department under Hà Nội Police Department told the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
The representative said that Vietnamese drug workers began to learn manufacturing techniques in 2010-2011 in the Czech Republic. They then brought their methods home and sold products to local users at cheap prices to earn profits.
Home-made synthetic drugs began to be discovered, including the case of 36-year-old Hoàng Tuấn Linh, a pharmacy Master in France. Police seized 24,000ml of liquid to make drugs. Linh confessed that while in France he found that methamphetamine there is clean and does not contain high level of chemicals. He then researched how to make it, with an aim to show his ability. Upon returning to Việt Nam, he made the drugs at an undisclosed location.
In the first three months of this year, up to 5,775 instances of drug trafficking cases were discovered nationwide. Police confiscated 148kg of heroin, 216kg and 101,810 tablets of synthetic drugs and 13kg of marijuana.
An experienced drug police officer in Hà Nội told the Tiền Phong newspaper that majority of youth are not fully aware of drug substances and their effects.
“Many young people use ecstasy and weed to express themselves. Other youths are excited by the promise of a quick high with no risk of addiction, so they think synthetic drugs are not harmful. Then, they form habits,” he said.
An officer of drug criminal investigative police department in Hà Nội said that synthetic drugs have strong effects on users’ nerve system and brain, resulting in memory malfunction and slow reaction as well as mental disorders.
“There currently are no treatment therapies for synthetic drug users,” he said.
The police officer said that education for adolescents on drugs and their effects should be delivered to equip kids with the skills to protect themselves. It should be taught as a subject at school, he added.
Doctor Trần Thị Hồng Thu, head of Clinical Department of Mental Health at Mai Hương Hospital, said that using synthetic drugs once or many times might have immediate or long-term effects. In many cases, users develop mental disorders after stopping taking drugs for several months or years.
To help drug addicts recover, rehabilitation therapies might include bio-chemistry therapy, psychological therapy, group therapy, family therapy, she said. — VNS
Ten signs of drug addiction, according to Doctor Trần Thị Hồng Thu, head of Clinical Department of Mental Health at Mai Hương Hospital
- Loss of appetite and weight in a short period of time
- Distraction from studies, reduction of productivity
- Dental problems such as toothache, black teeth, red gums, tooth loss
- Sweating, with sweat that smells like cats’ urine
- Facial acne
- Long periods without sleep
- Itchy skin. Scrubbing skin too much, causing bleeding.
- Square silver pieces of paper burned or bottles/straws used for drug intake at bedroom.
- Unstable mood