Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice

Opioid substitution treatment

Substitution therapy (ST) works through giving an individual dependent on illicit drugs (to date, mainly opiates), who are unwilling or unable to cease drug use, access to the use of “surrogate drugs” – that is, drugs of the similar type, which are provided in medical institutions. Despite the fact that opiate dependence is preserved, “substitution drugs” allow the person to fully operate, maintain health and strengthen their social and legal status. In medicine, substitution treatment is a common phenomenon. An analogy may be the appointment of insulin for diabetes or hormone replacement therapy.

Russia and OST

Currently there is no access to substitution therapy is Russia. This is due to legal prohibition and the lack of support for substitution therapy by drug treatment specialists and law enforcement. ARF is the key national organization to advocate for the introduction of the evidence-based substitution treatment (ST) of drug dependence which is prohibited in Russia

The Working group on OST advocacy in Russia

In 2009 Russia launched a working group on advocacy replacement therapy, which brings together organizations concerned with drug use and HIV, as well as representatives of communities affected by these problems. ARF coordinates the work of the Secretariat Group. This section contains the proceedings of the group.

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