Buprenorphine trialled to treat heroin addicts

Doctor Nguyen Hoang Long, director of the Viet Nam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control, talks to Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health and Life) newspaper about the use of buprenorphine in Vietnam.

1,000 drug addicts to be treated with Buprenorphine
Vietnam to use buprenorphine in drug addiction treatment

Buprenorphine trialled to treat heroin addicts
A medical worker in the northern province of Dien Bien prepares a dose of buprenorphine to treat a heroin addict. VNA/VNS Photo Phan Tuan Anh

Why has Vietnam decided to use buprenorphine to treat heroin addicts?

Buprenorphine (BUP) is used recreationally instead of opium, morphine or heroin in many countries. In France, about 20 per cent of all physicians are using BUP to treat about half of the estimated 150,000 heroin users.

In Vietnam, a pilot project using BUP has recently been launched in the northernmost province of Dien Bien. Vietnam hopes that BUP will help drug addicts to reduce their cravings. In addition, BUP also helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms like muscle and joint paint, sweating, anxiety or restlessness, yawning, runny noses. BUP also helps to prevent transmitted diseases through blood transfusions, such as Hepatitis B and C, due to its effect to reduce addicts' dependence on heroine.

BUP comes in the form of a tablet, so it is easy to transport and store. Its effects also last much longer than methadone, which means the drug addicts could come to a drug station near them to take the drug once every 2-3 days.

The use of BUP also gives drug addicts more options to choose their treatment course.

Will you explain a little more about the advantages and disadvantages of using BUP compared with methadone?

 

There is a big difference. As I said, the effect of BUP lasts between 2-3 days, while drug addicts would need to receive methadone every day. That means BUP treatment could help save patients a lot of time going to healthcare centres to collect the drug.

According to scientific reports, BUP has fewer side effects than methadone. However, patients still have to stay in healthcare centres for at least 10-15 minutes after taking the drug, while methadone patients can leave immediately.

Who can take BUP and what procedures do they have to go through?

All drug addicts, including opium addicts, will be eligible for BUP treatment, including those who are now taking methadone. However, they should visit their treatment centres and tell health workers they want to switch to BUP.

Is BUP provided free of charge?

At present, BUP is free of charge as it is provided by a project sponsor. Of course, when this support comes to an end, the Government will pay for the drugs from the State budget. However, some treatment centres may charge a service fee for people who are receiving methadone at the moment. In my opinion, the patients should talk to medical staff for more information.
When will the first HIV/AIDS patient in Vietnam be treated with BUP?

BUP has been introduced in many foreign countries, but is still new in Vietnam. That’s why the Viet Nam Administration of HIV-AIDs has adopted a plan that in the first phase, it will be piloted in mountainous provinces, such as Son La, Dien Bien, Nghe An, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau and Thanh Hoa. In these provinces, BUP will be provided at methadone treatment centres. After that we’ll advise the Ministry of Health before expanding BUP treatment nationwide.

VNS

 
 

Other News

.
Southern provinces strengthen COVID-19 prevention measures as cases increase
Southern provinces strengthen COVID-19 prevention measures as cases increase
SOCIETYicon  23/11/2021 

Many southern provinces have strengthened COVID-19 prevention measures as the number of locally transmitted cases has increased in the region.

Hanoi starts COVID-19 inoculation for children aged 15-17
Hanoi starts COVID-19 inoculation for children aged 15-17
SOCIETYicon  23/11/2021 

Hanoi began vaccinating children aged 15-17 against COVID-19 from November 23 morning, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Government invests in 12 more projects along North-South Expressway
Government invests in 12 more projects along North-South Expressway
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2021 

The Government proposed another 12 projects covering 729km of road on the North-South Express, according to the Ministry of Transport.

First day of commercial operations of Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line after two-week free trial
First day of commercial operations of Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line after two-week free trial
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2021 

Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban rail line in Hanoi, the first metro project to be completed and running in Vietnam, officially began commercial operations on November 21, to a lesser ridership than previous days.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 22
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 22
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2021 

Prime Minister to attend 13th ASEM Summit

Vietnam commemorates road traffic victims
Vietnam commemorates road traffic victims
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2021 

The National Traffic Safety Committee, Vietnam Television and Toyota Vietnam jointly hosted a ceremony on November 21 evening to commemorate victims of traffic accidents in Vietnam.

HCM City school classes 9 to 12 to resume next month
HCM City school classes 9 to 12 to resume next month
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2021 

The HCM City Department of Education and Training has recommended that schools should be reopened for fully vaccinated students from grades nine to 12 in COVID-19 low- and medium-risk areas on December 10.

Covid-19 related deaths and critical cases fall sharply in Vietnam
Covid-19 related deaths and critical cases fall sharply in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2021 

After one month of Resolution 128, the number of Covid-19 related deaths and critical cases has dropped sharply, according to the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Vietnam reports 9,889 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday
Vietnam reports 9,889 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday
SOCIETYicon  21/11/2021 

Vietnam reported a total of 9,889 new COVID-19 infections and 76 COVID-related deaths on Sunday.

Localities see more locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19
Localities see more locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19
SOCIETYicon  21/11/2021 

According to the Ministry of Health’s report, Vietnam has put the epidemic under its control nationwide.

HCM City seeks 1.66b USD to build affordable housing for workers
HCM City seeks 1.66b USD to build affordable housing for workers
SOCIETYicon  21/11/2021 

HCMC authorities are seeking 37.6 trillion VND (1.66 billion USD) to build affordable housing for workers over the next five years, of which State revenue will account for no more than 5 percent of the total investment.

HCMC proposes to receive 100,000 more Molnupiravir doses
HCMC proposes to receive 100,000 more Molnupiravir doses
SOCIETYicon  21/11/2021 

Ho Chi Minh City has asked for 100,000 more Molnupiravir doses.

Unforgettable moments in the fight against Covid-19 in HCM City
Unforgettable moments in the fight against Covid-19 in HCM City
FEATUREicon  22/11/2021 

Moments in the fight against Covid-19 in HCM City and the southern provinces this year have reminded people not only of difficulties and losses but also of human love and the efforts to overcome adversity.

Vietnamese children learn how to deal with harmful ‘challenges’ online
Vietnamese children learn how to deal with harmful ‘challenges’ online
SOCIETYicon  21/11/2021 

A study conducted in Vietnam and some countries shows that minors are likely to be exposed to toxic challenges online. What should parents do to reduce the risks?

Buildings and landmarks in Vietnam are lighting up blue for children
Buildings and landmarks in Vietnam are lighting up blue for children
SOCIETYicon  21/11/2021 

Light Up Blue for World Children’s Day is a global initiative. Many buildings in Vietnam's largest cities joined the initiative this year.

HCM City primary schools to have common video lessons
HCM City primary schools to have common video lessons
SOCIETYicon  20/11/2021 

Video lessons made by outstanding primary school teachers identified by local education officials will be used by all primary schools in HCM City.

HCM City proposes 7-day quarantine for F0 at concentrated facilities
HCM City proposes 7-day quarantine for F0 at concentrated facilities
SOCIETYicon  20/11/2021 

Ho Chi Minh City has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Health allowing it to cut short the concentrated quarantine time for F0 cases to seven days.

Vietnam holds ceremony to commemorate pandemic victims
Vietnam holds ceremony to commemorate pandemic victims
SOCIETYicon  20/11/2021 

A ceremony was held simultaneously at 8 am on November 19 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Nov. 19 to commemorate those who have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Companion Physicians’ and their lofty mission of saving lives
‘Companion Physicians’ and their lofty mission of saving lives
FEATUREicon  21/11/2021 

After 10 days and nights of preparation, at 11 am on August 1, 2021, Dr Le Tuan Thanh received a message that “the system is through” and burst into tears. “I knew we could do something for HCM City residents,” he said.

Violations of Hippocratic Oath found in cases in healthcare sector
Violations of Hippocratic Oath found in cases in healthcare sector
FEATUREicon  20/11/2021 

A number of famous doctors have recently had to pay a heavy price for their breaking of the Hippocratic Oath, which they recited at their medical school graduation ceremonies.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN