Drug addict killed in knife fight at Saigon rehab center

By Staff reporters   January 2, 2018 | 02:28 am PT
Two users started fighting while they were waiting for medication at the center.

A drug user was stabbed to death during a fight at a rehabilitation center in Saigon last Saturday, police have confirmed.

The fight broke out between Tran Huu Phuc, 34, and Tran Hoang Bao, 36, at the center in Thu Duc District to the city’s northeast on Saturday. Phuc died the next morning while Bao is still receiving hospital treatment, local media reported on Tuesday, citing a police statement.

Police said the two were not staying at the center but paid regular visits to receive methadone, an opioid replacement drug used to treat heroin addiction.

Saigon has nearly 22,000 registered drug users, the highest number in the country and nearly 10 percent of the country’s total, according to Vietnam’s social affairs ministry. Around half of them are in rehab centers.

Vietnam developed its approach to drug addiction based on the presumption that it represents a “social evil” that can be cured with abstinence and re-education. Following international criticism, the government established a timeframe in 2013 to gradually replace compulsory detention centers with community-based, voluntary treatment regimes.

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