The HCLU video advocacy team attended the Second Eastern Europe and Central Asia AIDS Conference (EECAAC) in Moscow, 3-5 May, 2008. Our main priority was to interview narcologists (addiction specialist doctors) and create a short advocacy movie on the lack of methadone substitution treatment in Russia. We believe that it is one of the biggest scandal of the world of drug treatment that substituion treatment is banned in a country with 1,5 million people living with HIV – the majority of them infected through the sharing of injecting equipment. Methadone substitution treatment is one of the best available tools of HIV prevention among injecting drug users according to all relevant international organizations (e.g. WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS), the scientific literature proving its positive impacts on public health and security can fill a whole library: it improves the health and social well-being of users, it prevents them from committing crimes, it decreases illicit drug use and needle and syringe sharing among them. Together with the majority of drug treatment specialists from all over the world we are confident that the lack of access to methadone maintenance treatment in Russia is a basic violation of the human rights of people who use drugs.
So, why Russia says no to methadone after all?
Watch our video to find the answer(s)!
Posted by Peter Sarosi