Drug Demand Reduction

 

Our commitment

Compulsory drug treatment centres are the dominant approach to dealing with people with drug problems in the region. Some of the practices recorded in such centres challenge drug dependence treatment principles endorsed by UNODC and WHO. Providing evidence-based treatment and care for drug-dependent users is a priority of the RPF.

The RPF will provide a framework that will address not only ATS and opiates, but also attempt to respond to emerging drugs of dependence, presently being produced and trafficked into the region.

  1. Prevention: Support government and civil society to plan, implementation, monitor and evaluate a range of evidence-based interventions for the prevention of drug abuse for at-risk youth in school settings, among women and in the workplace.
  2. Treatment: Identify, develop and sustain centers of excellence for training on drug treatment and care, establish community-based treatment programmes, establish drug
    treatment networks to identify and exchange best practices and finally, develop and implement minimum standards of treatment and care
  3. Reintegration: Sensitize the criminal justice systems in Member States to needs of drug users through appropriate community-policing and criminal justice strategies and improve the criminal justice response in this manner. Establish community-based reintegration and aftercare programmes. Help to de-stigmatize recovering drug users through implementation of an integrated communication strategy.

As part of its communications strategy, the Regional Centre will also support provision of the following services:

  1. Collect and manage data on prevalence, emerging trends and programme effectiveness.
  2. Serve as a regional forum for information exchange.
  3. Develop broad-based partnerships for demand reduction and drug control.

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Our main achievements in 2012

  • In Cambodia, Myanmar and Viet Nam community-based services for drug users began operating at a total of 13 sites (eight in Cambodia, two in Myanmar and three in Viet Nam) as of December 2012. The number of patients that have accessed drug dependence treatment and care services supported by the project totals 693 in Cambodia of which 130 patients are female, 618 in Myanmar of which 31 are female, and 2,483 in Viet Nam of which 1,448 are female.
  • Guidance documentation defining a service delivery model and standards of care were developed in Cambodia, Myanmar and Viet Nam, as well as guidelines for health services, NGOs and police involvement.
  • Evidence suggests that NGO partners have increased capacity to provide drug dependence and other social services, that there are stronger relationships between key multi-sectoral (health, social welfare, law enforcement) authorities at the local and national level, that UN Agencies are increasing community awareness, and that understanding of drug dependence and support for people who use drugs increased in the three participating countries.
  • Cambodia committed to expanding community-based treatment to 350 communities by 2016. CBTx continues to receive high-level support from the Royal Government of Cambodia, particularly His Excellency Ke Kim Yan, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD).  The programme aims to expand CBTx across all priority sites in Cambodia.
  • China and Viet Nam continued to scale up methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) clinics, reaching 209,000 and close to 12,300 opioid dependent individuals, respectively. Cambodia and Myanmar progressively increased the number of patients receiving MMT up to 250 and more than 2,900, respectively.
  • In partnership with the HIV/AIDS team and jointly with  ESCAP and the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific the DDR team organised the Second Regional Consultation on Compulsory Centres for Drug Users (CCDUs) in October 2012 in Malaysia.  High-level political commitment to voluntary community-based drug treatment was noted, and positive trends in establishing voluntary rather than compulsory approaches were acknowledged by the country delegations. The majority of countries anticipated a decrease in the number of CCDUs and the number of people therein over the following two years.
  • Viet Nam is developing a policy framework to support the transformation of its compulsory detention centres and expand voluntary, community-based treatment programmesA Joint United Nations Statement on Compulsory Drug Detention and Rehabilitation Centres was developed by 12 UN agencies and entities and was released in March 2012. The Statement called on Member States to close compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres and to implement voluntary, evidence- and rights-based health and social services in the community. 

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Our main achievements in 2011

  • Viet Nam's ability to design evidence-based responses to the ATS problem has been enhanced with the publication of valuable research data on ATS use in the country, including recommendations for specific follow-up pilot projects to support prevention efforts.
  • There is evidence of increased interest and willingness by some governments in the region to explore voluntary, community-based drug treatment approaches as an alternative to the use of compulsory centres for drug users (CCDUs). For example, project proposals to adapt and implement evidence-based prevention and treatment approaches were approved by the six countries (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) participating in the Memorandum of Understanding on drug control in the Mekong Region.
  • In Cambodia, Myanmar and Viet Nam community-based services for drug users have started on the ground at a total of 13 sites (eight in Cambodia, two in Myanmar and three in Viet Nam).
  • Following encouraging preliminary results achieved by the Community Based Drug Treatment Programme (CBTx), the Royal Government of Cambodia has committed to expand Community-Based Treatment to 350 communes, as evidenced by the allocation of national funding through the national health programme. Joint fund raising efforts by the RGC and the UN system are continuing.
  • In Indonesia UNODC has developed and delivered training for service providers in 5 Provinces on Integrating HIV Prevention into Drug Dependence Treatment Services in medical and community settings.
  • Malaysia continued the transition from compulsory drug rehabilitation centers to 'Cure and Care' clinics. During 2011 China and Viet Nam continued to scale up methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) clinics, while Cambodia and Myanmar progressively increased the number of patients receiving MMT.

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Our main achievements in 2010

  • Opening of the first methadone clinic in Cambodia, with support from UNODC on methadone procurement.
  • Reduction in drug use relapse rates at UNODC-supported project sites in Viet Nam.
  • Reduction in numbers of opium addicts at UNODC-supported project sites in Lao PDR.
  • Increase in the momentum, advocacy and communication with governments to shift away from detaining people who use drugs in compulsory centres for drug users (CCDUs). The alternative being advocated for by UNODC is for the expansion of evidence-based, voluntary, drug treatment services in the community. Increased interest and willingness by some governments in the region to explore voluntary, community-based drug treatment approaches, evidenced by the study visits requested by some governments to visit and observe the new Cure and Care clinics in Malaysia. This follows the high-level Inter-Governmental Regional Consultation on Compulsory Centres for Drug Users organised by UNODC, ESCAP and UNAIDS in December 2010.

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Our main achievements in 2009

  • Establishment of baseline information on ATS use in Viet Nam, to help inform evidence-based responses.
  • More effective capacity for the treatment of drug dependence in Cambodia, Myanmar and Viet Nam, through initiation of the Treatnet II project.
  • Establishment of 14 drug counselling clinics in Viet Nam and 10 Commune Counselling Teams in Cambodia.
  • Piloting of a community-based drug dependence treatment programme in Cambodia.
  • Support to the reintegration of drug users back in to the community in Viet Nam.
  • Development of a position statement by the UN Country Team in Cambodia advocating a shift from using compulsory centres for drug users to voluntary, community and evidence-based drug dependence treatment.

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