Taichung City Government is actively implementing anti-drug and narcotics works. Last year, it launched the first “Methadone Travel Dose Service” program in Taiwan. Integrating 12 hospital that provided methadone therapy in Taichung City, it allows drug addicts to join the rehabilitation program in different towns. As the primary practice earned excellent results, its efficacy was confirmed by the central government. In order to provide full scale service, the city government expanded the travel dose program to 24 hospitals in 4 counties and cities in Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, and Miaoli through the district administration platform. After its launching in September, it is going to provide drug addicts with convenient rehabilitation services.
Today (23), the Health Bureau held the “Priceless Youth/Say No to Drugs” anti-drug press conference in the Administration Building on Taiwan Boulevard. Officers from the Customs Department brought a few sniffer dogs to demonstrate the process of narcotics inspection. Accompanied by the Director-General Hsu Yong-nian of the Health Bureau, and Director-General of the Police Department Chen Chia-chang, Mayor Lin Chia-lung and Chief Prosecutor Chang Hong-mou and Head Prosecutor Lin Po-hung of Taichung District Prosecutors Office, and representatives from Miaoli, Changhua, and Nantou Country to announce the commencement of “Methadone Travel Dose Service in 4 Counties and Cities in the Central Taiwan” program. City councilors Chang Ya-min and Fan Song-yu, Deputy Director Chang Yung-min of Department of Mental and Oral Health, Ministry of Health and Welfare participated to witness the launching of this new program.
“It is the responsibility of all the people to fight drugs and narcotics. We must work together!” Mayor Lin expressed. Drug addiction is not only a crime problem but also a health issue. The Government must work with the private sector to fight against drugs. We also need to help drug addicts to rehabilitate and return to the society by offering them humanistic concern.
Mayor Lin pointed out that, at present, according to the system of methadone alternative therapy, drug addicts must go to the same hospital to take their doses every day, bringing them inconvenience to daily life. It may lower the intentions of getting rehabilitated causing drug addiction withdrawal so as to make people addicted to drugs again. Therefore, the Health Bureau integrated and collaborated with the 12 hospitals offering methadone therapy to launch the first “Methadone Travel Dose Service” program in Taiwan last year. After the implementation of this service, the drug addicts achieved a 90% of satisfaction rate. It earned Taichung City the honor of “Excellent” in the annual evaluation. By the end of June this year, the “annual recidivism rate” of Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 drugs was 19.7%, lower than the national “annual recidivism rate” of 29.7%. As this policy accomplished effective results, it is confirmed by the central government and will be implemented in the entire Taiwan.
Mayor Lin mentioned that, at present, the administrative platform of Chung-Chang-Tou-Miao will be responsible for the Methadone Travel Dose mechanism and expand it to 24 hospitals in 4 counties and cities. Likewise, after the drug addicts that require therapy return to society, they can receive the most appropriate therapy. It is a big progress for the joint-governing of Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, and Miaoli.
Chief Prosecutor Chang Hong-mou of Taichung District Prosecutors Office expressed that the District Prosecutors Office has been cooperating with Taichung City Government to fight against drugs, achieving good results. Narcotics works should be upheld incessantly because drugs harm not only people’s health but also society and families, influencing them negatively. He advocated people to refuse drugs and say no to narcotics bravely.
Deputy Director Chang Yung-min of Department of Mental and Oral Health, Ministry of Health and Welfare also expressed that the implementation of Methadone Travel Dose program is worthy of affirmation. With prolific accomplishments, he would like to thank Taichung City Government to promote the joint-travel dose program in the districts. The central government will continue to provide help and support to the implementation of this program.
The Health Bureau pointed out that the primary work for drug prevention is “investigation.” The prosecutors, police, and investigators should cooperate to investigate drug brokers and dealers to break the supply chain of drugs in the market. In addition, it is necessary to investigate the hot points of students gathering and spot check places that prone to expose to drugs. From January to July this year, 3,119 drug addicts were arrested, with 696 (at the increase rate of 28.7%) people more than the same period last year. Total drugs confiscated were 98336.4 grams, with 5349.9 grams (at the increase rate of 5.8%) more than last year. Regarding to Schedule 2 drugs, the number of addicts arrested and drugs confiscated are 39.3% and 121.2% higher than the same period last year.
In addition to enforce and promote drug investigation, from today, September 13, on there is an exhibition on drug investigation, the harm done to people by drugs, how the government helps drug addicts to return to society, and the progress of drug addicts during rehabilitation in Hui-chung Building, Administrative Building, Taiwan Boulevard to promote people’s understanding of fighting against drugs. During the exhibition, people will be given anti-drugs promotion materials after filling out the questionnaire.
The Health Bureau would like to remind that “prevention is better than the cure.” Help a drug addict and save a family from breaking up. If there is any friend in your neighborhood that needs help, you can dial the 24-hour hotline at 0800-770885 to seek assistance.