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Viet Nam Country Profile

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2003
49 pages
This report provides an overview of drug abuse, drug trafficking, and drug law enforcement in Viet Nam.
Drug abuse is increasing in Viet Nam, especially in urban areas. In 2001 there were 113,903 registered drug abusers, a 13-percent increase from the previous year. Injecting drug use is widespread in the country, as is sharing of needles. This has contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS to the general public; the country is at risk for a serious epidemic unless urgent measures are introduced. The government of Viet Nam is committed to implementing its comprehensive national drug control program. Efforts to eradicate poppy cultivation have resulted in a significant decrease in land planted with opium poppy. The trafficking of illicit drugs in the region, however, is evolving in a complex manner as traffickers take advantage of Viet Nam's extensive and poorly controlled borders with China, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. The lack of resources, experience, and qualified staff have adversely impacted drug treatment and rehabilitation efforts. Limited financial and technical expertise have impeded the government's efforts in drug control and prevention. Still, the Law on Narcotic Drugs Prevention and Suppression, which became operative on June 1, 2001, is the first of its kind in Viet Nam, and is an important step toward enhanced drug law enforcement. The government has also increased its international cooperation in the area of drug control and prevention, notably with neighboring countries. The National Drug Control Master Plan is currently being developed by the government with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 14 tables and a 36-item bibliography