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More drug rehabilitation centers are needed in Mon State


Min Hong Prike, Secretary of the Mon Youth Progressive Organization, says there are gaps in the treatment options for persons suffering from drug addiction.  

According to MinHong Prike, while the government has enacted some policies aimed to address the drug crisis, there are no rehabilitation centers. He said,  “we need a treatment and rehabilitation center to reduce drug addicts. There is only one doctor with three chairs on it in Mon State. This will not work. Drug addicts are being sent to  places to try and keep them calm. There is not a rehabilitation center — it is just a jail. The government must rebuild some policies, and civil society organizations need to unite and help each other.”

Min Hong Prike also called for access to improved technologies, increased financing to counter drug addiction as a health priority,  and to modernize treatment facilities. The growing and national problem requires government interventions, he argued.

Nai Choon, a researcher with the Human Rights Foundation of Monland, notes there is only one mental health center in Mon State and it is located in Mawlamyine. Drug addicts are often directed to this centre, but there is a need to set up the mental health centers in different townships.

Nai Choon, said, “we do not have the [legislative framework] to set up rehabilitation centers at the village level.  One of the worst things is  that some parents do not speak out that their child is addicted. Then, they do not send them to the clinic, and they try to treat their children by themselves, but often parents [do not know how to] reduce drug addictions.”

The National League of Democracy policy approach has been to arrest and jail drug users, but this strategy has not seen a drop in the rate of drug usage. Nai Choon, says the criminal focus to counter the growing problem needs to be on the drug traffickers -not the addicts. 

Meanwhile,Nai Lyah Tamah, Joint Secretary (1) noted  the Mon United Party (MUP) is advocating for a policy that provides drug addicts access to rehabilitation centers.

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