Reintegration of ex-drug addicts discussed

Measures to control ex-drug addicts and to help them to reintegrate into society were discussed at a meeting held by the HCM City’s People Committee on February 6.

Ex-drug addicts working at the sewing factory of Diem Khanh Co., located at the Nhi Xuan Industrial Park in HCM City (Photo: SGGP) 

Since the amended law on drug control and prevention took effect, the city has seen more than 14,500 ex-drug users reintegrated into the society.

The problem is that some addicts have relapsed into drug taking and committed crimes in the process, such as theft, robbery, drug trafficking and even murder.

Problems caused by ex-drug addicts occur mostly in districts 1, 4 and 8.

By February 6, the city had 1,336 people who relapsed into drug addiction, accounting for 14.77 percent of ex-drug users.

Some of those who relapsed into addiction desperately and fiercely resisted against the police who caught them committing crimes, said senior lieutenant-colonel Ho Tu Sang, Chief of Police in District 8.

There remain 33 hotspots of drugs in the city, of which 14 are in district 8, where the rate of drug relapse is higher than that of other districts in the city.

Go Vap District has four drug hotspots. Senior lieutenant-colonel Huynh Tri Thanh, Chief of Police in the district, admitted, “Our environment has not yet to be ‘cleaned’ and it is very difficult to prevent drug relapse.”

A lack of personnel in charge in drug control makes the fight against drugs and the management over ex-drug addicts more difficult in many districts.

“First of all, it is necessary to expand the line-up of voluntary social workers and the city should adopt a policy to support such volunteers,” said Nguyen Ngoc Thach, head of HCM City’s Social Evils Prevention Office.

Vocational training for ex-drug addicts

One of the important issues is to create jobs for ex-drug addicts and give them vocational training.

“We are conducting a new process for drug detoxification, in which ex-drug users are offered official training courses to become [for example] drivers, bartenders, tailors, or machinery repairers,“ said  Nguyen Van Minh, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

In the process, coordination between relevant agencies is needed, he added.

Meanwhile, social security policies for ex-drug addicts should be carried out more efficiently to help them re-integrate into society sooner and better, said Le Hieu Dang, deputy chairman of the city’s Fatherland Front Committee.

In addition, the control over and fight against drugs should be included in school curricula, since most drug users are young people, advised Mr. Thach.

Recently, the city’s Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has cooperated with the Department of Education and Training to put drug control and prevention into the ‘civic education’ program in high schools.

By D. Loan, H. Hiep – Translated by Ngoc Dung

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