PM calls for concerted fight against drug abuse

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for the involvement of the entire political system and the public in the fight against drug crimes, which have recently shown complicated developments.

Chairing a national teleconference on drug control in Hanoi, the PM expressed his concern that despite the discovery and strict punishment of many drug cases, drug crimes are yet to decline and drug abuse among young people is on the rise, especially in big cities such as Hanoi, HCM City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Vung Tau.

Without strong and drastic actions, the situation will become serious, he warned, adding that new types of drugs, especially synthetic ones, are not only smuggled into the country but also recently produced in Hanoi.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Le Quy Vuong said heroin and synthetic drugs are smuggled in Việt Nam from abroad, particularly in border areas of the northwestern and north central regions. Notably, drug trafficking from Laos this year has increased by 4.6 times from last year, with more sophisticated tricks.

According to Vương, the illegal trading and transport of synthetic drugs, particularly “ice” meth, surged from last year, mostly from China, Laos, Cambodia and Western African countries. A total of 19,333 drug crimes were discovered during 2016, with more than 31,000 suspects arrested.

He also reported that there are nearly 211,000 drug addicts in the country, up 10,600 from 2015.

Commenting on the cause of below-expectation drug detoxification work, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam said many localities are yet to pay due attention to the work.

In the northern provinces of Dien Bien, Lai Chau and Nam Dinh, the funding for the work only meets 2-4 per cent of the demand while staffs of rehabilitation centers lack necessary skills.

Several centers are overcrowded, making it easier for drug addicts to stage breakout and flee, he said.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said drug addicts in many localities have been given access to methadone therapy, fulfilling 63 per cent of the target.

She vowed readiness to offer medicines and training to medical staff but local authorities must arrange personnel to monitor the effort.

Concluding the event, the PM asked the border and coast guards, and public security forces to increase crackdowns on drug crimes and give strict sentences to drug ring leaders.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs was required to spread drug rehabilitation models while the Health Ministry should multiply effective treatment.

He requested localities allocate sufficient funding for the effort.

The media is responsible for raising public awareness of drug’s danger and competent agencies will recheck drug detoxification policies.


Other news