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HCMC starts sending drug addicts to rehabilitation centers

HCMC starts sending drug addicts to rehabilitation centers

Friday, December 05, 2014, 11:53 GMT+7

Relevant agencies in Ho Chi Minh City today kicked off a campaign to send drug addicts across the city to rehabilitation centers, pending court decisions on applying compulsory detoxification to them.

>> City ready to send drug addicts to compulsory detoxification centers Accordingly, after detecting any drug addict through rapid tests, agencies will set up initial files on them and then send them to the Binh Trieu Rehabilitation Center in Binh Thanh District and the Nhi Xuan Vocational Training and Job Creation Center in Hoc Mon District. Health and other experts at these centers will stop drug addicts' rush on the spot, offer them preliminary detoxification, and provide them with psychological consultancy, pending orders issued by courts to officially admit them to compulsory detoxification centers. According to statistics, the city now has about 19,000 drug addicts, of whom 12,000 have unstable residence. When drug addicts are sent to the Binh Trieu and Nhi Xuan centers, police and prosecutor’s offices in localities where the drug addicts have resided will transfer their files to the city People’s Court for consideration. Within a maximum of 15 days, the court must issue a decision on whether or not compulsory detoxification will be applied to those addicts. If the court issues decision to apply obligatory detoxification to any drug addicts, then the Binh Trieu and Nhi Xuan centers will send those addicts to 10 compulsory detoxification centers. Of these centers, one is located in HCM City’s Cu Chi District, four are in Binh Phuoc Province, two are in Binh Duong Province, and one each is in Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Dak Nong provinces. In case the court announces that a drug addict is not subject to obligatory drug detoxification, then the two centers will discharge them. The campaign was launched after the National Assembly (NA) adopted a resolution to allow drug addicts to be sent to facilities such as Binh Trieu and Nhi Xuan pending court judgments.  The resolution was passed on November 10 after Ho Chi Minh City authorities proposed that the NA adopt such a resolution to help restrain the rising number of drug addicts and ease public concerns about their appearance in public places.

Pursuant to the Law on the Handling of Administrative Violations, which took effect on January 1, 2014, addicts can be sent to a drug detoxification facility only when a court judgment is issued for this purpose and when they fail to stay sober after being monitored for three to six months by local authorities. In a report delivered to the NA on October 29, Minister of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said the number of drug addicts in Vietnam increases by 7,000 every year, and the figure stood at over 200,000 as of the end of September.

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