Vietnam registers more than 10,000 new drug users last year, with the users getting younger and being concentrated in the southern region.
Revealing this at a conference on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha said that there are now middle school students in many places using drugs.
Many rehabilitation centers in the country are overcrowded, she noted.
Vietnam had 111 licensed centers with around 35,000 inmates as of April.
As of last November the country had 235,314 drug addicts in its official records, 10,215 more than a year earlier.
“The number and the seriousness of crimes like robberies, disturbing public order, and murders committed by drug users has also gone up,” Ha said.
Ngo Thanh Binh, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security’s department of drug crime investigation, said the number of addicts aged between 12 and 18 is on the rise, and it is difficult to send them to rehab due to legal complications arising from international charters on child rights Vietnam has signed.
Vietnam treats drug addiction as a “social evil.”
According to the department, the quantity of drugs seized last year was the highest ever at nearly nine tons.