Strategies for Preventing Drug Recidivism Cycle in Taiwan
Khoo, Jennifer (Lin-Lin)
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Drug abuse is currently a worldwide problem and Taiwan is no exception. Drug abuse is a disease that must be treated on the basis of evidence (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2007; World Health Organisation 2004). In order to reduce the damage caused by drug abuse to the nation, society and people, the government not only developed two anti-drug strategies - that of supply eradication and demand reduction - but since May 1994, has mobilised relevant government departments to take assertive action. Some of the actions include law enforcement enhancement, anti-drug enforcement and drug rehabilitation utilisation. In 2005, new anti-drug programs, such as the sterile needle exchange program and substitution therapy program, were also introduced. The cities implementing the Harm Reduction Program (HR Program) showed lower HIV infection rates in comparison to others without the HR Program. The income and employment conditions of drug addicted patients receiving Methadone Maintenance Treatment have been improved. The future drug policies in Taiwan will focus on drug rehabilitation (treatment), anti-drug actions (prevention) and law enforcement (punishment). The educational system, community recovery and aftercare for drug addicts will also be indispensable (WHO/UNODC/UNAIDS 2004).