A counseling center in the Lao capital Vientiane that treats people with drug use disorders has been expanded, a move that would accommodate the increasing number of people who require counseling and treatment.
The facility, which is located at Sisattanak Hospital in Sisattanak district, offers free advice and community-based therapy, according to Vientiane Times.
The upgrade work was supported by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section of the United States Embassy to Laos through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime with more than LAK 200 million (USD 22,640) invested.
“It’s a private counseling room to protect people from the stigma associated with drug use and can provide treatment by specialists that meet international standards,” said Health Office Head of Sisattanak district, Dr. Khonesavanh Thepphavong.
Between 2014 and October 2019, a total of 321 people visited the facility for advice. It first opened in 2014.
Most of those who seek help are aged between 18 and 25, and about 95 percent of drug users are addicted to amphetamines, Vientiane Times added.