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New Scheme Started Drug Abuse Prevention Centers begin full-fledged guidance for Class 3 and 4 individual cases in July.

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In response to worsening Class 3 and 4 drug abuse, all Drug Abuse Prevention Centers at municipalities, counties, and cities (DAPCs) have started extended tracking and guidance on selected individuals since July 1 of this year. This new measure shall apply to individuals who have been found by the police using Class 3 or 4 drugs three times or more within a 5-year span, individuals placed under protective disposition and probation by youth courts, and youth departing from correction institutes. Tracking and guidance as well as related services will be administered comprehensively on individuals addicted to any class of drug as an early intervention measure that aims to prevent continuous use of drugs or escalation to use of Class 1 or 2 drugs. Since their establishment in 2006 almost 10 years ago, DAPCs are now important strongholds at the local level in our country’s anti-drug efforts and form a tight anti-drug network both vertically and horizontally. Currently DAPCs’ primary focus is placed on providing guidance for individuals who are released from prison, on probation, or on deferred prosecution due to use of the more addictive Class 1 or 2 drugs. However, as Class 3 and 4 drug abuses cases have continued to mount in our country over recent years, some DAPCs have taken early measures and programs that provide rehabilitative guidance for individuals addicted to Class 3 or 4 drugs on a voluntary basis. Since July 1 of this year, the Ministry of Justice has adopted the strategy of “reduce tracking and guidance services for Class 1 and 2 cases and expand tracking and guidance services for Class 3 and 4 cases”, and requested DAPCs nation-wide to expand services to the individuals mentioned above and take proactive measures to track and provide guidance especially to Class 3 and 4 addicts. Initial estimates show more than 10,400 individuals will receive such tracking and guidance. It is now a global trend to apply diversional intervention to drug addicts; substituting institutionalized intervention with community intervention, incarceration and isolation are no longer the primary measures, and DAPCs’ tracking and guidance network should be strengthened to help drug addicts to quit addictions and reduce repetitive offenses. After a new case is accepted, a DAPC will first assess the individual’s situation and needs by telephone interview, home visit, or face-to-face interview, evaluate whether or not to provide services like rehabilitation treatment, job placement, social assistance, half-way house, legal assistance, or family support, refer to related network resources, and help the individual to break away from physical and mental dependency on drugs and to return to society once again. The Ministry of Justice is calling upon individuals who have been found by the police using Class 3 or 4 drugs three times or more within a 5-year span to respond to DAPCs’ phone calls, comply with our tracking and guidance, and tell us what help you need. In addition, drug addicts and concerned family members may call 24-hour Quit and Success hotline at 0800-770-885; our colleagues at DAPC will answer the phone and provide advice to build a bridge that allows smooth communication between drug addicts/concerned family members and government agencies.

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