Launching “Social and Legal Consulting, Assisted Referral Model for People who Use Drugs" in Long Bien district, Hanoi
April 27, 2019
In the afternoon of April 26, 2019, at the Bo De ward's Cultural and Sports Center, Long Bien District, the launching ceremony of “Social and Legal Consulting, Assisted Referral Model for People who Use Drugs” took place.
Mr. Hoang Thanh Thai - Deputy Director of Hanoi Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs
Hanoi is the very first city in the country to pilot the model, which is co-managed by the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the Hanoi Department of Social Evils Prevention, with the technical support from the Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives and financial support by SAMHSA. At the first stage, the model implementation in two districts - Long Bien and Nam Tu Liem with 6 counties (Ngoc Lam, Ngoc Thuy, Bo De, Cau Dien, My Dinh 1 and Xuan Phuong) officially started from April 2019.
At the launching ceremony, Mr. Hoang Thanh Thai - Deputy Director of Hanoi Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs said: “Given the current complicated situation of drug use, it is necessary to establish a network helping communities discover, approach, intervene and provide medical, detoxification and psychosocial services for drug users, especially synthetic drugs on the basis of synchronous coordination of multi stakeholders. On 12/2/2019, Hanoi People's Committee issued Plan No. 40 / KH-UBND to pilot the “Social and Legal Consulting, Assisted Referral Model for People who Use Drugs” with the goal is to support the long-term addiction treatment, refer to social support services to help integrate into the community and prevent relapse until drug users "achieve the highest physical and mental results”.
The Launching Ceremony also welcomed the the opening of three Support, Counseling and Addiction Treatment Sites in the community in three counties Ngoc Lam, Ngoc Thuy and Bo De - which will receive, manage, and help the drug users referred by the police right in their residential area.
Ms. Dinh Thi Thu Huong, Vice Chairman of Long Bien District People's Committee
Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Director of the Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) said: “With experience of working with international organizations on drug addiction counseling and treatment, we found this model to have many advantages in terms of efficiency and feasibility. The involvement of law enforcement forces plays a highly significant role in the model because they have frequent contact with drug users or addicts (besides drug user community-based groups), so they can act as the first "door" to provide drug users with information on support, counseling, addiction treatment... then being referred to services according their needs. The assisted police referral model not only solves a problem with drug use or addiction, but also has an impact on other important aspects of drug users, such as: reducing the law offence rate by nearly 60% and increasing in the employment rate by 30% in the drug user community that involved in the model, as well as strengthening stabilization in the implementation area.”
Mr. Vu Huy Hoang - Director of the US Agency for Treatment of Addiction and Mental Health Services
This is the first model in Vietnam with the participation of law enforcement force in introducing, connecting and transferring drug users to voluntary counseling and support agencies in their community. Thus, with this model, drug users not only have access to medical services for addiction treatments but also are connected to other suitable health services and legal - social services, which helps drug addicts to address barriers that make it difficult for them to deal with addiction and community reintegration.
The model also aims to be friendly, the local police in addition to the responsibility of law enforcement and management now plays a role in supporting drug users, increasing the openness and trust of drug users for the law enforcement agency in general. This is very important in encouraging drug users to access counseling and treatment services tailored to the needs of each individual. Since then, the model will, at the same time, help promote voluntary treatment services in the community to be developed and replicated professionally and methodically. This development will contribute to creating more opportunities to help drug users and non-drug users community to consult and solve problems related to drug use in nowadays complex society.
Coordinator counselling for drug user at the Bo De ward counseling point
Present at the Consultation Support Centre - Treatment of Bo De drug addiction, Mr. Nguyen Hong Quan (drug user) seemed very excited. According to him, this program is really good, because he will not have to be constrained, forced like in detox centers. Besides, he was able to stay with his family, and was supported by his relatives to help him get motivated and energized. In particular, Mr. Quan said, participating in this model, he can still detox and go to work.
“If this model is implemented properly, professionally, it will bring a new and important appearance that is the trust of the society, then the community's efforts to implement policies with the consideration to humanity for drug users in order to bring a stable and better life to everyone.”, shared Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh.