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Ethnic minorities, drug use & harm   UNODC  

Ethnic minorities, drug use & harm - UNODC

Living in some of the most remote, isolated and impoverished areas of the country, few other people are more marginalised in Vietnam than highland ethnic minority populations. Their extensive historical participation in the domestic cultivation of opium poppy, accompanied by the development of their formerly isolated environments, has led them to become increasingly vulnerable to complex and embedded drug use environments of risk and harm merging as a by-product of rapid national economic development. Unfortunately knowledge of the risks inherent to these changing drug use behaviours, including HIV and other blood-born viruses, is largely non-existent, and little drug use and harm prevention and intervention work has been attempted with regard to the pecific needs and cultural characteristics of these populations. . In recognition of the unforeseeable health implications of this situation, the Vietnamese government Committee for Ethnic Minorities (CEM) and the UNODC have developed and implemented project AD/VIE/01/B85 ? Drug Abuse Prevention among Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam (2002-2004). Its aim is to evaluate the drug use environments in these areas, as well as to assess the types and prevalence of risk behaviors, with a goal of devising effective and culturally-appropriate interventions to reduce both the overall demand for drug use in these remote border areas as well as drug-related harm as a result of this demand. . Subsequently evidence-based research is of paramount importance in order to effectively tackle these goals. Thus the information contained in this research assessment report is one step toward trying to understand the complexities of harm in these transforming environments. Combining a revised rapid assessment methodology with experienced professional researchers, and incorporating the direct participation of local ethnic minority drug users throughout the entire research process, this document gives us a unique insight into the historical,cultural and social contexts of drug use in some of Vietnam?s most remote highland ?risk nvironments?. Dispelling myths and challenging contemporary anecdotal accounts of drug use ?tradition? within these cultural communities, this assessment demonstrates the beginning of a quest to gain some understanding of the drug use and harm being created in these areas, and represents a first approach in the articipatory process of developing culturally relevant intervention materials and activities to mitigate these harms.

Published by: UNODC -
Uploaded on: Mar 2005
File size: 2.9 MB - Language: English
Keyword(s): Ethnic Minorities , Rural Development , Social/Community Forestry , Village/Community Development
Category: Health