The government will formally inaugurate a community-based national drug rehabilitation centre on March 22 in Preah Sihanouk province, with the centre focusing on vocational training for addicts to provide them with a clear career path and life skills when reintegrating into society.
Din Borey, director of the rehabilitation department at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, told The Post on March 20 that the centre is located in Keo Phos commune’s Mong Rethy II village of Preah Sihanouk province’s Stung Hav district.
Called the National Centre for Voluntary and Community-based Treatment Service and Rehabilitation for Drug Addicts, it consists of buildings to accommodate victims and officers, and treatment and training facilities on an area of about 20ha.
The centre was built by the government with the assistance of Thailand and Vietnam at a cost of about $7 million.
“We will take drug addicts who have been treated for six months from the centres in the capital and provinces and treat them here. Here, we will provide vocational training for two years before they return to their communities,” he said.
Borey added that the centre would cooperate with the labour ministry and the Ministry of Health as well as the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) to offer programmes that would treat them through vocational training and life skills. The centre also had a mental health education programme.
In addition, he said the labour ministry also plans to look for jobs for them after they complete their training and will continue to monitor them after they return to their communities. The centre will initially receive more than 100 victims of drug addiction from the capital and provinces.
NACD chairman Ke Kim Yan, who will preside over the inauguration, said he had earlier instructed the NACD as well as relevant ministries and institutions to prepare plans that centre on drug control efforts, combatting money laundering and other financial crimes related to the illicit drug trade, and ensuring that villages and communes are drug-free.
Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesman Kheang Phearom said: “This centre will play a very important role. It will treat the victims and provide education, vocational training and treatment to the victims of drug addiction and will help to integrate them back into their community or families after the training.”
Sam Saphea, head of the provincial social affairs department, said that in Preah Sihanouk more than 70 drug addicts were already being treated.
“We will send those receiving treatment for training upon their recovery,” he said.
He added that the centre would be run with the assistance of three major institutions: social affairs, health and labour ministries.
The social affairs ministry will provide rehabilitation services, education, counselling and life skills to the victims. The health ministry will be responsible for healthcare, while the labour ministry will impart vocational training in order to give them a chance at earning an honest livelihood upon their recovery.