Vietnam has new drugs to help addicts crave for drugs

Buprenorphine lozenges are drugs that treat drug addiction, equivalent to Methadone, to help eliminate drug cravings completely.

Buprenorphine lozenges are drugs that treat drug addiction, equivalent to Methadone, to help eliminate drug cravings completely.

Mr. Doan Thanh Hai, 56 years old, in Dien Bien, is one of the first patients in Vietnam to receive buprenorphine treatment.

He was addicted to drugs from the 90s, often smoking and injecting heroin, 2-3 times a day, costing about 400,000 VND.

"I have been detoxing 4 times but then relapse. Heroin makes my health decline, the economy is exhausted, the family is broken," Hai said.

With medical examination and counseling from doctors, Mr. Hai now uses buprenorphine for 16 days at a dose of 12 mg daily.

"Taking medication on the first day, I still use heroin but I don't feel like it anymore. On the second day, the doctor increased his dose, I no longer felt craving for heroin. Currently, my health is much better, eating and drinking. more delicious, deep sleep, "the patient shared.

Picture 1 of Vietnam has new drugs to help addicts crave for drugs
Buprenorphine.(Photo: Vox).

Discussed at the meeting "Launch of opioid addiction treatment with Buprenorphine ", on May 10, Associate Professor Nguyen Hoang Long, Director of HIV / AIDS Prevention, said opioid addiction (opioid addiction) ), is a problem in society, affecting both health, security, order and socio-economic development.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, Vietnam has more than 225,000 drug addicts with management records. Drug addiction is considered a chronic disease of the brain, there is no specific cure for curing. Effective detoxification solutions are not high, relapse rate is over 90%. Therefore, in the world, treatment for opioid addiction by substitution therapy is now considered one of the most advanced solutions today, mainly with methadone and buprenorphine treatment.

More than 54,000 drug addicts are being treated with Methadone. This drug helps opioid addicts to reduce dependence on heroin or opium, prevent blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, reduce deaths from heroin overdose, reduce onions violating the law, helping addicts to restore the function of social psychology, labor and community integration . Methadone is a safe and highly effective measure, however, patients must go to medical facilities everyday to Taking drugs is a problem in maintaining treatment.

Buprenorphine is similar to methadone in addition to benefits, so the effect lasts for 2-3 days before the patient has to go to a medical facility to take medicine once. Because there is no drug interaction, HIV-infected drug users who are currently on ART should not need to increase the dose of ARV if taking buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine has been used to treat opiate addicts since 1995 in France, and currently has 40 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has included buprenorphine in the list of essential drugs since 2005. According to the WHO report in 2015, Europe has 59% of countries that are treating drug addiction with buprenorphine.

In Vietnam, treatment of opioid addiction with buprenorphine has been piloted since 2015 within the framework of two studies of Hanoi Medical University and Ho Chi Minh City Center for HIV / AIDS Prevention and Control. Evaluation results show that buprenorphine treatment has many advantages.

The Ministry of Health advocates the introduction of Buprenophine into the treatment of opiate addicts, adding a choice besides methadone. Initially, the drug was deployed in three mountainous provinces of Dien Bien, Son La and Nghe An, then expanded to provinces and cities.

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