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"Danger of drugs and our responses?", a discussion for journalists

Oct. 19, 2018

On the occasion of Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day  (June 21) and International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (June 26), the Department for Social Vices Prevention and Control cooperated with Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) in organizing a seminar on "Danger of drugs and our responses" on June 14th 2017, at the Conference room of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, 12 Ngo Quyen, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
With the presence of Deputy Minister Nguyen Trong Dam, Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Director Nguyen Xuan Lap, Deputy Director Le Duc Hien, Deputy Director Le Van Khanh from the DSVP, along with officials and staff from SCDI, the seminar has attracted more than 50 journalists from nationwide press agencies to participate in the discussion on the reform of drug prevention and control programme in Vietnam. Some methods of treatment and drug rehabilitation for people who use drugs; and the role of the peer group in accessing and supporting treatment for people who use drugs in the community.

Ảnh: Ông David Koh; chủ tich Hội đồng SCDI; chị Nguyễn Hoài Hương và chị Lê Thị Thanh Hà, phó Giám đốc SCDI

In this month of action on drugs, on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, a series of activities were launched, including a photo exhibition jointly organized by MOLISA, Ministry of Public Security, a meeting in Bac Giang and a series of national media events.

The relapse rates remain high (over 90%) after 1-2 years  of compulsory drug rehabilitation at the establishment; the number of drug addicts increased continuously by about 6-8%, compared to the previous year, as well as the introduction of new drugs such as ATS, stamp, bath salt, etc., drug rehabilitation needs to be fundamentally changed, by increasing treatment of addiction and the role of CBO: The community are to help the drug addicts effectively, help them to establish a stable livelihood and reintegrate the society.

“Effective communication is very important. Medical experts have indicated that addiction is a chronic disease, but can be treated, and the journalists need to be aware of this.”

Deputy Minister Nguyen Trong Dam  


Photo: Deputy Minister Nguyen Trong Dam delivering the opening speech

In the keynote speech, Mr. Nguyen Trong Dam, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, emphasized: In order to effectively carry out drug prevention and control, the change of awareness on addiction and “Effective communication is very important. Medical experts have indicated that addiction is a chronic disease, but can be treated, and the journalists need to be aware of this.” In this regard, SCDI's role is extremely meaningful when it comes to providing research, not just about addiction science but about many other issues, therefore the Ministry will have enough evidence for policy advocacy.

Many journalists had inquiries and were answered, as well as provided information on addiction science and harm reduction advice from SCDI. This is the initial basis for raising awareness of the community and society about drug addiction, reducing stigma, increasing medical, psychological and social support interventions that alter cognitive and behavior of drug addicts, aiming to reduce illegal drug use in Vietnam.

Photo: Mr. Tran Quoc Thong - Khanh Hoa Department of Social Vices Prevention – delivering a presentation on experience in deploying addiction treatment model in community

With the goal of 94% of all people are to be rehabilitated and having voluntary treatment by 2020, the missions that need to be focused in the future is the development of Community-based drug counseling, care and treatment sites in order to advise the drug users to choose the appropriate treatment; Counseling and support to help addicts adhere to treatment. In addition, the implementation of training plans on drug prevention and treatment should be emphasized, along with the research, development and implementation of drug treatment monitoring and evaluation programs.


Photo: Journalists questioned on the effectiveness of community-based rehabilitation versus rehabilitation at the center.


Viewpoint of the project on drug rehabilitation reform in Vietnam, according to Decision No. 2596/QĐ-TTg:
- Drug addiction is a chronic disease caused by brain disorders, addiction treatment is a long-term process, including the overall intervention of medical, psychological and social support to change cognitive and behavioral process to reduce the harm of drug addiction and reduce the use of illegal drugs.
- Diversify treatment measures and models. To gradually increase the voluntary addiction treatment in families and communities, to gradually reduce compulsory treatment in centers, with appropriate routes.
- The State invests in resources and adopts policies to encourage the socialization of drug prevention and treatment; support addiction treatment for beneficiaries of social welfare, ethnic minority people living in the remote and special difficulty-stricken areas.


Documentaries produced by SCDI on the occasion of the  International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (click on the title to view the video):

Resurrection dream

Overdose rescue hero

Community-based addiction treatment



Vân Anh


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