The struggle against drugs

Drug-addiction, that social scourge, is to be viewed from two different angles and called for the solution of two major problems.
Drug-addiction, that social scourge, is to be viewed from two different angles and called for the solution of two major problems:
1.   As a social evil, it derives from political economic, cultural and educational conditions prevailing in a given society. Consequently it is not easy to eradicate and no one method is valid for all societies.
2.   As a disease, it is not easy to cure by using the classical methods, for each of these faces restrictions, both medical and economic. In order to work out a suitable method for a developing country, new ways should be followed.
The social and medical angles are thus inseparable. Most drug-addicts are only cured if discontinuance in the use of the drug is accompanied by social renewal. On the other hand, the struggle on the social plane cannot do without medical assistance, which will be the first to have a happy impact on the patients.
Therefore, medical doctors and all those involved in this struggle must have the necessary competence to deal with both aspects of the question.
The articles published in these pages are not related to pure medicine. They also reflect a politico-social stand.
Immediately after the liberation of south Vietnam, the revolutionary administration turned its attention to the struggle against drug-addiction and other social evils. Thirty years of war left heavy political, economic and social burdens, of which drug-addiction was a not negligible part. Could all those difficulties be overcome?
Research on drug-addiction and how to solve that problem was entrusted to a team which comprised Doctors Truong Thin, Pham Phi Long, Ngo Anh Tuan, Tran Thanh Son, Nguyen Toi Thien, Nguyen Vinh, and Le Bach Tuyet, and pharmacist Le Phat Nguyen.
They had been trained in Western medical science but were also familiar with Vietnamese traditional medicine. This two fold competence allowed them to look at drug-addiction from a new angle, explain its mechanism in a new way, hence adopt a therapy that was completely different from the classical methods.
Following the achievement of conclusive results, a Centre for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug-addicts was set up with the participation of various governments departments: the War Invalids and Social Affairs Service, Health Service and the Youth Organization. Leadership of the Centre was entrusted to the first-named service and the work of the above researchers consisted in cadre training and organization as well as scientific research.
 By 1977, about 2,500 cases had been treated and cured, which proved the effectiveness of the method adopted and supplied valuable experience.
Other Centres were subsequently established and a propaganda campaign launched with a view to a prompt solution of the problem. Tens of thousands of patients were treated in those centres while less serious cases received treatment at their homes. The number of drug-addicts, which had reached 100,000 before liberation, dropped to about 5,000.
The work done by the research team attracted hundreds of foreign delegations who came to examine the results obtained. Although the researchers had not gone very deep with regard to questions related to fundamental sciences, their work took undeniable practical value.
Vietnamese traditional methods in medicine are not sufficiently known abroad. Some difficulties may be encountered by those who take an interest in them for only essential notions may be dealt with in this booklet. We should be happy to receive the opinion and advice of other researchers.
Vietnamese Studies


Tin Nóng

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