The nation responds to drug prevention month

(VOV) - Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked parents, youth, schools and community leaders across the nation to join the month-long observance of June as national substance abuse prevention month.

At a meeting on June 19 in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, Deputy PM Dam stressed that substance abuse prevention plays an extremely important role in promoting safe and healthy communities.

“As a nation we need to reduce the social stigma attached to drug addiction,” the deputy PM said and he asked the community not to discriminate against addicts, but help them seek gainful employment and integrate into the community.

Christopher Batt, a representative from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC)  in Vietnam, in turn said drug trafficking and abuse is one of social evils that has negatively impacted development of nations around the globe.

Batt pledged UNODC support for Vietnam’s efforts to provide effective treatment for addicts to battle their drug addiction.

For her part, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen expressed her hope that each person in the community would become a volunteer to help addicts integrate well into the community.

According to statistics, Vietnam had 204,377 addicts as of the end of 2014 and the number of has increased 0,6% on average per annum over recent years. Up to 76% of drug addicts, mostly youth, are aged 35 or below.