Compulsory detention for drug use undermines treatment in Laos

Compulsory detention for drug use undermines treatment in Laos

From behind bars, hundreds of detainees suspected of drug use are enrolled in compulsory rehabilitation in the capital, Vientiane. (Photo courtesy of Martin Abbiati/ Photographer)

From behind bars, hundreds of detainees suspected of drug use are enrolled in compulsory rehabilitation in the capital, Vientiane. (Photo courtesy of Martin Abbiati/ Photographer)

MOKCHONG KHMU, 11 October 2013 (IRIN) – Laos – located between thriving opium and methamphetamine producers in Myanmar and a reported consumer base of more than two million drug users in China – has sought to limit the impact of drug transit, use and production on its population. But the government’s policies, which harshly penalize drug use, are hampering efforts to treat addiction, say health researchers.

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