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National Assembly workshop: Scientific progression on drug treatment

Ngày 25 tháng 10 năm 2018

On 20th March 2015, in Hanoi. SCDI in collaboration with the Social Affairs Commission of the National Assembly organized a workshop on Scientific Progression and International Experience on drug treatment. This is under the scope of Asia Action on Harm Reduction implemented by SCDI towards developing effective drug treatment program.

There were more than 50 delegates attending the workshop including leadership from the Social Affairs Commission of the National Assembly; the Advisory Group to the Chairperson of the Commission on drug, prostitution and HIV/AIDS prevention; representatives from Education, Labor and Social Centers in Hanoi, Hai Phong and Bac Giang; and international and national experts.

Mr. Đặng Thuần Phong (left) and the Advisory Group (right) speaking at the workshop 

In the opening speech Mr. Đặng Thuần Phong – Deputy  Director of the Social Affairs Commission said “Drug addiction is a disease and people with addiction should be seen as patients. Thus, we are looking for technical expertise to develop drug treatment program that can contribute to the goals of supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction”.

Mr. John Hamilton (left) and Dr. Laurent Michel (right) presenting information and experience on drug treatment in the US and France

At the workshop, Mr. John Hamilton – Director of Recovery Network of Programs presented advances in drug treatment which emphasizes that drug treatment is a long-term and complex process attending to all aspects of addiction including biology, behavior and social context. Mr. Hamilton emphasized that removing barriers to access to services and ensuring confidentiality of patients at policy and implementation levels are two important factors to keep patients stay in treatment in the US.

Dr. Laurent Michel – Director of Pierre Nicole in Paris, Medical Director of French Red Cross presented drug treatment model in France, in particular the Pierre Nicole center. According to Dr. Michel, French drug treatment model provides open and comprehensive services which are integrated in health and social welfare systems. He also highlighted the definition of recovery of drug treatment in France is improved quality of life of patients.

Representative of Bac Giang Voluntary Drug Treatment Center shared the development process of the pilot model and the technical supports received from SCDI. The model is expected to incorporate 1 comprehensive voluntary drug treatment center in Bac Giang city and 5 commune sites which provide counseling to and referral for clients.

“Information and inputs provided are valuable in terms of practicality and orientation for Vietnam. The French and US experiences have been applied in the pilot model in Bac Giang. The workshop will be used to inform policy development that can bring the most effective results” Mr. Đặng Thuần Phong concluded. “There is a need to revise the drug prevention law in which people with addiction is recognized as patients” he emphasized. 

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