L.Nasantsengel: “Prevention and awareness-raising are the most important actions against drug addiction”

2017-06-09 16:35:38
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The State Great Khural (Parliament) has adopted the National Program on Fight against Illegal Demand of Narcotic Drugs and Controlled Substances. MONTSAME clarified few issues from Ms L.Nasantsengel, Director-General of the National Mental Health Center (NMHC).

-A national committee has been formed regarding the implementation of the national program. What is NMHC’s role in the program?

Inception of such national committee has been reflected in the Law on control over circulation of narcotic drugs and substances, passed in 2002. However, no committee had been established until recently. The national program was approved along with initial plan of action. Implementation of the program is not a sole responsibility of only the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs. It should involve the ministries of education and health and law enforcement. Therefore, a committee had to be set up. For the Ministry of Health, it will be realizing a comprehensive program on sophisticating the diagnosis and treatment standards, and will jointly conduct researches with professional institutions.

-How many addicts are there in Mongolia?

The narcotics addiction has become an urgent issue in almost all countries. That is why the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has been uniting the international efforts to tackle this problem. NMHC is a national-level treatment center of Mongolia. The number of people admitting to our center due to drug abuse has been growing each year. 30-40 patients, most of whom are of age 18-20, are admitted for in-patient treatment every year.

-Can anyone who is under drug abuse be cured? Some specialists has been saying that people with “ice” (methamphetamine) addiction cannot recover. What is your opinion?

Rate of complete recovery is 5.0 percent even in the most developed of world countries. For that reason, prevention measures and raising public awareness of drug addiction are the most important actions that can be committed. There are 560 addictive substances that are out of the international control, but there is only one treatment. Some patients coming to our center say they have received treatment in Russia, Germany, USA, Thailand and China, but none of them are cured.