Scaling up implementation of the Renovation Plan on Drug Treatment
Sept. 25, 2018
This is part of the collaboration between People’s Committees of Khanh Hoa and Ba Ria – Vung Tau, the Advisory Group to the Chairperson of the National Committee on AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution, and SCDI on scaling up the implementation of the Renovation Plan on Drug Treatment through developing voluntary and community-based drug treatment.
In order to provide technical support for Khanh Hoa and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, on 27th – 28th August 2015, SCDI, the Advisory Group and the 2 provinces’ Departments of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA) had organized 2 workshops on scaling up the implementation of the Renovation Plan on Drug Treatment.
The Department for Social Vices Prevention from each province presented their plans to implement the Renovation Plan. The plans focused on voluntary drug treatment through community-based counselling, care and treatment. Some clear targets had been set such as by the end of 2015, 50% communes will implement community-based drug treatment, and 6 community drug counseling, support and treatment sites will be developed; by the end of 2020, 90% communes will implement community-based drug treatment, and 8 community drug counseling, support and treatment sites will be developed.
To ensure the technical capacity needed to achieve such targets, each province planned to provide training and capacity building for 100% of personnel working on drug treatment. They also proposed to transform compulsory rehabilitation centers to voluntary drug treatment centers.
Dr. Khuat from SCDI presented results from an assessment conducted in Khanh Hoa and Vung Tau to inform the workshop about social perspectives, technical capacity, infrastructure and resources of the 2 provinces. The report showed that there were limitations in people’s awareness about drug and drug treatment, technical capacity and the ability to reach key population.
“The actual number of people who use drugs in the area is much larger than that of the police’s registered drug users” said Ms. Kim Dung from Khanh Hoa’s AIDS center. “In 2014 the center has conducted mapping in the province with a finding of more than 1600 people who use drugs while the police only has records of 1000 people. The real number could be as high as 2400 people. Methadone service in Nha Trang has been provided for 264/333 registered people and another site can be opened in Cam Ranh by the end of the year”.
The report also mentioned that stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs were still very strong, which could be a barrier to access to services.
A proposed plan to implement voluntary and community-based drug treatment was presented. The model would consist of 4 interconnected components - 1. Community drug counselling and treatment sites; 2. Methadone clinics; 3. Voluntary drug treatment center; 4. Mental health hospital. The model aimed at supporting clients in all stages of recovery and to have them stay in the program as long as needed.
In a discussion regarding the advantages and disadvantages to implement the model, Mr. Ho Viet Binh, Long Dien district’s deputy sheriff said “We are changing very fast without appropriate solutions (for drug treatment). People coming back from compulsory rehabilitation are not being monitored. Families of people with addiction are often financially poor so voluntary drug treatment may not work if they have to pay. The government needs to consider allocating resources for this”.
In his closing speech at the workshop in Khanh Hoa, Mr. Le Huu Tho, Director of DOLISA requested SCDI to continue to provide technical support to the province in developing and implementing voluntary drug treatment model.