Nam Dinh encourages methadone treatment at private facilities
Patients are taking methadone at a treatment facility in Hanoi. (Source: vaac.gov.vn)
Nam Dinh (VNA) – The northern province of Nam Dinh said on August 11 that it would promote methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) at private health facilities to improve the effectiveness of intervention programmes aimed at minimising harm to high-risk groups, especially drug addicts.
MMT is the use of methadone , administered over a prolonged period of time, as treatment for someone who is addicted to opioids such as heroin, when detoxification has been unsuccessful and/or admittance to a substance abuse treatment facility requires complete abstinence.
It is a cost-effective method that costs nine times less than traditional treatments in rehab centres. It not only allows addicted people to stop using drugs, reduces their risk of HIV transmission and improves their quality of life, but also is associated with a reduction in criminal activity.
Nam Dinh currently has eight facilities using methadone maintenance treatment in six out of 10 districts and city. These facilities have treated 5,300 patients with medicine provided by projects on HIV/AIDS prevention in Vietnam.
Nam Dinh is one of the first eight provinces in the country implementing the project on methadone maintenance treatment since 2010, after the Ministry of Health piloted the project in Hai Phong and HCM City.
Director of the provincial centre for HIV/AIDS prevention and combat Tran Van Quang said the programme has proven effective as patients have shown signs of recovery and re-integration into the community.
According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Nam Dinh needs to boost communication campaigns to promote methadone treatment and expand the method at private facilities, thus helping patients better access medicine and treatment.-VNA