While neighboring countries such as Ukraine use the peer-reviewed pharmacological substitution treatments favored by the global public health community, Russia bans such treatments and methadone clinics.
1.Although it does not have the highest rate of
opioid use in the world, the Russian Federation has a significant problem with
abuse of synthesized opioids, such as heroin.
2.Russia ranks about even with Iran – which also has
major addiction challenges – among the 30 largest economies for rate of opioid
3.About 2.3% of the 15-64 year-old population used
opioids as of 2010, based on the last estimates the government provided to the
4.The real figure of Russian opioid users may be
higher. Russia’s government is not very transparent about addiction in the
5.Russia’s opioid addicts struggle to deal with
stigmatization at an official, government level and often face unscientific
6.Russia’s drug problem has been compounded by the
implosion of its public health system after the breakup of the Soviet Union in
7.In addition, the treatment of drug users in
sub-standard facilities has contributed to a serious outbreak of drug-resistant
tuberculosis that threatens Russia’s overall population.
9.Upon annexation to Russia from Ukraine, Crimea’s
addicts suddenly found themselves without safe and proven options.
10.As in other countries, many addicts there face the
added challenge of being HIV positive due to infection by needles prior to
seeking clinical support.