17,500 drug addicts treated with methadone therapy in Vietnam

17,500 drug addicts were treated with methadone therapy across the country, reported by the Ministry of Health at a workshop on expansion of methadone therapy on June 5 in Hanoi.

The methadone treatment program has been piloted in April 2008 in the northern city of Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City. The program has since been expanded to many parts in the country but until now, more than 17,500 drug addicts have received treatment at 92 clinics in 32 provinces and cities.

The ministry targets treating 80,000 drug addicts by 2015; accordngly, it is a challenge and heavy mission for program organizers.

From now to June 30, People’s Committee in HCMC will carry out statistics of drug addicts in rehab centers, jails and fresh addicts to build up a dossier on them.

Methadone has been widely used worldwide for many years. In 2005, the World Health Organization officially recognized and included methadone in its essential medicines list.

By Nguyen Quoc, Van Anh - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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