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Scheme to give addicts alternative treatment

CAMBODIA’S drug bureau has green-lighted a methadone treatment programme for injection drug users.
The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) on Tuesday signed off in principle on what would be the country’s first methadone programme, NACD Secretary General Moek Dara confirmed Wednesday.

“I hope a significant number of people will be able to stabilise their lives and actually start to become full members of society again,” said Graham Shaw, a technical officer with the World Health Organisation in Cambodia, adding that he expects the programme to launch in December.

However, he warned that it could fail without proper support services such as housing, counselling and training. “We are concerned there’s not enough of that in place at the moment,” Shaw said.

However, local harm-reduction advocacy group Korsang said Wednesday that it will provide some housing and support for participants.

Methadone is a synthetic drug used in replacement therapy for drug users addicted to opiates such as heroin.

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