Publications & Reports

Rapid assessment of the drug-injecting situation at Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

R Power
Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, University College London, United Kingdom.


This paper describes a rapid assessment of the drug-injecting situation in Viet Nam.

The study, which was carried out over a five-week period during October and November 1993, focused on the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

A multi-indicator inductive methodology was adopted that mixed qualitative and quantitative measures. As only limited background epidemiologic and official statistics were available, the study involved the generation of original data, through, for example, the construction of “cognitive maps” describing broad patterns of drug use, semi-structured interviews (for the collection of baseline data), focus groups, in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations.

The study revealed that the injection of “blackwater” opium proliferated, often in combination with a range of pharmaceutical preparations. High-risk injecting practices were common at both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, drug scenes and congregation sites being more public and visible at Ho Chi Minh City.

The implications for policy and practice are discussed, emphasis being placed on the need for outreach and peer intervention.


  • Journal: Bulletin on narcotics
  • Published: 01/01/1998
  • Volume: 48
  • Issue: 1-2
  • Pagination: 35-52


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