Speech at Council Meeting-Q6 Methadone Outpatient Treatment Program

Q6 Methadone Outpatient Treatment Program

MR CHAN CHUN YING: Thank you, President.  The Secretary mentioned that 10% of the participants in the Programme receive detoxification treatment, but the approach differs from that in confined drug addiction treatment centres operated by the Correctional Services Department.  It is stated in the main reply that professional counselling and social welfare support will be integrally provided to participants who have successfully quit drugs.  Are they also offered aftercare counselling services similar to those provided to rehabilitees in drug addiction treatment centres, with the aim of facilitating their effective reintegration into society?  Thank you.

SECRETARY FOR SECURITY: Yes, indeed.  In addition to doctors and paramedical staff, there are social workers stationed at each methadone clinic.  The so-called “integrated treatment approach” encompasses social welfare support, counselling and other social work services in addition to methadone treatment.  All these services are readily available.

As I have mentioned, nearly 96% of the patients currently receive maintenance treatment.  Around 30% of participants in the Programme can achieve abstinence from drugs.  Abstinence means they have not retaken methadone for a certain period of time after the last dose.  We have professional social workers to follow up on their overall situation, including their social welfare needs, after the methadone withdrawal.  Thank you, President.