Drug addicts need post-detox therapy
Thứ sáu, 20/02/2015, 09:20 SA
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The head of Ho Chi Minh City's Psychological Hospital has recommended that drug addicts be given mental-health therapy after they complete detoxification services.

Dr. Trinh Tat Thang that addicts who are treated at ward and commune health centers are especially in need of such care.

Ward and commune health centers currently are only responsible for identifying the level of addiction of each individual and suggesting a detox regimen. Addicts who have a more serious condition are treated with methadone.

Thang told a recent meeting on drug treatment for addicts at community-based health facilities that 40-60 percent of addicts have mental health problems. Those who use amphetamine-type stimulants often become depressed after their detox regimen concludes.

Dong Van Ngoc, a representative from the municipal Department of Health's Medical Affairs Division, said it is difficult to identify the severity of addiction because of the lack of qualified staff and facilities.

For this reason, the Psychological Hospital has opened short-term training courses for staff to improve basic knowledge about drug addiction. It will also open more courses on drug testing, detoxification and recovery methods for addicts, Ngoc said.

Preventive health centers in HCM City ’s districts usually work with local authorities to prepare facilities and staff for addicts who have legal residence in the city.

A representative of a preventive health centre in Binh Thanh district said few addicts voluntarily go to ward and commune health centers for treatment because of the high costs.

The first month of treatment costs 2.7 million VND (128 USD) and gradually increases to 3.4 million USD in the second month and 4.3 million USD in the third month.

The city has also sent a group of members of the city's People's Council to check the admission of addicts without a stable residence at three designated centers, namely Nhi Xuan Centre of Vocational Education and Employment in Hoc Mon district, Young People Vocational Training Centre No. 2 in the outlying district of Cu Chi and the Binh Trieu Admission Centre of Addicts and Prostitutes in Binh Thanh district.

The addicts are sent to these centers while they wait for a court decision on whether they must enter a rehabilitation centre. At these centers, they receive detoxification and psychological counseling services.

Nguyen Huu Tai, deputy head of the city's Social Evils Prevention Division under the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the city has identified 3,200 addicts and sent more than 1,800 people without a stable residence to the three centers since December 5, 2014.

These centers, however, have had difficulty in identifying the families of addicts, and 300 of them have had to live at the centre for more than 30 days.

Under the law, they are allowed to stay for detox and counseling for no more than 30 days.

Tai said that sending these addicts to the centers has helped ensure social order and reduced the number of homeless addicts.
Currently, the city has more than 19,000 addicts.



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