SCDI Center for Community Development Initiatives





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Training for Community-based drug counseling, care and treatment sites

Oct. 19, 2018

From June 13th to 15th 2016 in Hanoi, SCDI has organized training program "Building organizational and operational capacity of Community-based drug counseling, care and treatment sites in 10 Northern provinces". Attending the program were leaders of Sub Department for Social Vices Prevention; leaders of communes, wards and towns having planned to establish Community-based drug counseling, care and treatment sites (called the Sites, in short) and representatives of the self-help group of drug users. The training course was organized with the aim of helping the participants to raise awareness and knowledge about substance; principles, systems, processes of drug addiction treatment; organizational process and activities of the Sites, etc.



Mr. Le Van Khanh, deputy director of the Department for Social Vices Prevention attended training courses and provided general information about "Drug rehabilitation renovation plan".
In order to implement the plan, the Government issued Resolution No. 98/NQ-CP dated 26/12/2014 on enhancing the prevention, control and treatment direction for drug addiction in the new situation, in which the development of Sites is emphasized with attention. Still, the current result did not meet the requirements of the Plan, 28/123 compulsory centers are fully or partly transformed into voluntary centers, 42 Sites are established in 23 provinces.
Doctor Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, SCDI Executive Director exchanged ideas and provides knowledge on  mechanisms and principles of addiction, treatment strategies designed to help learners understand that addiction treatment should be based on scientific proofs: drug use is not synonymous with addiction; addiction is a brain disease but also relates closely to social factors, altering many life aspects of a person; the evaluation should not stop at the level of drug use, but also includes elements of health, employment, family relations, social, mental and legal status. Treatment for drug addiction is a long and comprehensive process, involving all problems the drug users have to face. The necessary treatment solutions not only include medicines to treat drug dependency to help restore the brain, but also the role of counseling, psychological treatment, social support to mitigate the risks related to drug use in patients.

On discussing the objectives of voluntary treatment, all members jointly discussed and agreed on the following key points:

- Increase the number of people receiving treatment services and supports for recovery.
- Reduce drug use, risk of infections, harmful effects on health.
- Increase social integration of drug users, contributing to social order and stability.
Also during the workshop, SCDI representatives presented 7 steps in the process of treatment services procurement, with detailed instructions on the purpose, activities, tools, staff, skills requirement and voluntary involvement of self-help drug users. In order to best implement the process, we should clearly assigned tasks for each member, coordinate smoothly between Sites, self-help groups and Departments involved.

Part 2 of the training course discussed about experience of building organization models and operational activities of the sites in province. The model in Bac Giang, with technical support by SCDI from 2014, was given as reference. This model was built to meet the requirements for renovation of perspective on voluntary treatment; implementing comprehensive expertise measures in health and social psychology with advanced therapies, especially in association with the self-help groups. So far in Bac Giang, 5 Sites were built in 5 districts, providing treatment services for more than 100 drug users.


One patient at Cao Thuong Site gained stable health and work after treatment.   Mrs Nguyen Thi Hiep, deputy chief of Cao Thuong medical clinic share experiences in training courses.

The self-help group, one of the important factors contributing to the success of Sites, was the coordinator who present the services in Sites to drug users. “Bac Giang faith” - self-help group at Cao Thuong Site was invited to share their experience: At first, the collaboration with the Site staff was fairly difficult, but now the team has a good take on the activities, accommodation, ensuring a safe environment for health staff to be fully concentrated on their mission.
Also in the training, participants in Khanh Hoa, Mr. Tran Duc Thong, entitled Head of Sub DSVP of Khanh Hoa province, added his experiences about how to effectively implement the Site activities in unison. Currently, 5 Sites in 5 districts are implemented in Khanh Hoa province, with technical support from the SCDI.


Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thuy, chief of Phuong Son Ward medical clinic in Nha Trang city, cooperated with self-help group give counseling to patients prior to treatment.
On patient resources, the self-help groups work as well as the main referral, which connected services at the Sites and Methadone treatment Centers with drug users, working in close ties with the DSVP. Currently in Khanh Hoa, 4 self-help groups of drug users have long been active and supported by SCDI.
Upon completion of training, many participants shared their enthusiasm about the training program. Equiped with useful, practical and compelling knowledge in both theoretical and technical aspects, they desire to devote all efforts to implement Community-based drug counseling, care and treatment sites upon their return to the communities.
Download the complete documentation on training courses (in Vietnamese)


Ninh Xuân


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