HCM CITY– The Ministry of Health has issued specific guidelines on intervention to manage synthetic drugs abusers amid an increase in drug use in the country.
The guidance includes overview of synthetic drugs, screening, diagnosis, interventional measures based on psychology and behaviours, and treatment of mental disorders.
The ministry said social assistance should be provided in the community for synthetic drugs abusers.
According to Nguyễn Hoàng Long, head of the ministry’s Việt Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control, abuse of synthetic drugs causes a deterioration in the quality of life not only for the users but also their family and society itself since it affects social order.
Many have mental disorders and even die due to abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS).
In the last several years Việt Nam has collaborated with other countries and international organisations, especially the UN, to improve the efficacy of crackdowns on synthetic drugs.
Yet the number of people abusing them has continued to increase.
According to the experience of various countries, interventional measures are not effective and ATS abusers need psychological and social assistance to minimise potential damage.
The Ministry of Public Security’s statistics show there are 222,582 drug addicts known to authorities in the country, of whom 67.5 per cent live in the community and 13.5 per cent at compulsory de-addiction centres. The rest are in prisons and rehabilitation schools.
Of the 222,582, nearly 70 per cent use synthetic drugs.
In Hà Nội, HCM City and Hải Phòng, 40 per cent of heroin addicts use synthetic drugs. Their risk of developing psychosis is 9.7 times higher than those who do not use synthetic drugs.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health at Hà Nội’s Bạch Mai Hospital, psychological problems among synthetic drugs include paranoia (68.2 per cent), hallucinations (72.7 per cent) and depression (23.8 per cent). – VNS