Addicts in Mass Break-Out From Vietnam Rehab | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Addicts in Mass Break-Out From Vietnam Rehab

The 96 escapees, armed with kitchen knives, aren't the first to bust out of Vietnam's compulsory, abusive rehabs.

Image: 

Vietnamese men in compulsory rehab take a
communal bath. Photo via

By Fionna Agomuoh

04/03/12

| Share

Ninety-six addicts, armed with kitchen knives, escaped a compulsory drug rehabilitation center in Vietnam on Sunday. Vu Xuan Thai, director of the Haiphong Rehabilitation Center, says detainees threatened guards with their improvised weapons before making an after-dinner getaway. Altogether 96 of the center's 201 occupants fled. Since then, 15 of the escapees have returned voluntarily; police are searching for the rest. The escape highlights Vietnam's controversial compulsory rehab policy for its 140,000 addicted citizens. In an effort to combat the country's drug problem, addicts are required to undergo two years of rehabilitation, during which they must either learn a trade or perform manual labor. But treatment centers have often been less about rehab and more about exploitation. Last year the NGO Human Rights Watch, in a 121-page report called the The Rehab Archipelago, detailed how residents at these rehab centers are forced to perform often-hazardous unpaid labor in agricultural production, garment making or construction. According to one inmate, detainees face abuse if they don't work: “If you refused to work, they slapped you," he said. "If you refused to work then they sent you to the punishment room. Everyone worked." Detainees are often held captive despite having the legal right to request release if they don't get the care they need. More than 500 drug addicts escaped from another rehab center in Haiphong in May 2010.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Scott Phillips: You Are What You—

Last February, my oldest friend died of a heroin overdose at the age of 49. He beat me to recovery, and he beat me to death. He also gave a final, drug-alogue interview on my radio show 20 hours before he died.

the fix tv