The northern province of Hoa Binh has held a meeting in response to the concurrent International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and Vietnam’s Anti-Drug Day (June 26).
Co-organised by the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) and Hoa Binh’s provincial People’s Committee, the meeting aimed to intensify anti-drug efforts in ethnic group areas.
CEMA Vice Chairman Nong Quoc Tuan told attendees drug-related crimes and opium replanting remain complicated issues in ethnic group areas, particularly those along National Road 6A and bordering Son La province’s Moc Chau district.
He emphasized the need for provincial authorities to devote more attention to drug prevention in areas inhabited by ethnic minority people.
Locals must be encouraged to actively engage in the fight against illicit drugs, a goal requiring better economic development in addition to effective security and defence.
Tuan, noting the importance and long-term nature of the anti-drug campaign, asked Hoa Binh to step up education programmes regarding drug use’s harmful effects.
Methamphetamine addiction is a special concern in the gateway to the northwestern region.
After the meeting, more than 500 officials, youth union members, armed forces and mountainous Mai Chau district residents marched to raise public awareness of the ongoing fight against drugs.
Vietnam currently has almost 200,000 drug addicts, 96 percent of whom are male.
Hoa Binh province alone has recorded more than 1,600 drug users in 120 communes.