Seoul has been the capital city of South Korea for an astounding six centuries. Its roots as a city go back nearly two thousand years.
Seoul is a major center of business, culture, and historical landmarks. The railroad network in Korea connects Seoul to every region of the country. Two international airports make Seoul easily accessible to the world. Many from around the world remember the attention Seoul received when they hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics. Seoul continues to be a modern presence in eastern Asia and on the world stage.
Seoul Drug Abuse Problems
In the last decade, recreational drug use in Seoul has increased so much that it now includes significant numbers of farmers, housewives, white-collar business employees, and students. Addictive drugs are getting cheaper and easier to obtain. The expansion of drug abuse into common society is very concerning to Korean experts studying these trends. Clearly, the need for locally accessible drug treatment has been emerging.
Drug Addiction Treatment in Seoul
In 2009, Seoul was selected as the site of a major conference on treating drug addiction. This mirrors the intent of the Korean drug policy that calls for expansion of drug treatment and education. The health ministry also announced a planned revision to allow courts to order drug treatment. These demonstrations by the government can help shape the general public’s awareness and perception of drug treatment as a viable option.
The Addiction Psychiatry Center in the Seoul National Hospital was the first hospital ward completely dedicated to the alcohol and drug rehabilitation.
Since 1986, they have expanded their services to include inpatient drug treatment for adults and teens, drug detox services, a day treatment program, and self-help support groups such as AA and Al-Anon. This is truly the example of a comprehensive drug rehab center for Seoul.
Self-help support groups do not deliver professional drug and alcohol treatment. However, they play an important role in a person’s addiction recovery. Seoul is still establishing its network of drug treatment providers. Until more centers like the Addiction Psychiatry Center are created, support groups can fill a desperate need.
Drug rehabilitation and education are now part of the key goals in the Korean drug policy. Despite this promising direction, Korea’s current main approach to their county’s drug problem is through legal channels.
As time goes on, drug rehab centers may play a more prominent role in the control of drug addiction in Seoul.