Harm Reduction and Treatment Lacking in East European and Central Asian (EECA) Nations

"Russia is an extreme case in many ways given its strict legal prohibition on any form of OST whatsoever for any reason. It is not entirely alone, however. In most other EECA countries, governments’ inability to allocate funds for harm reduction programming (including OST [Opioid Substitution Treatment]), HIV treatment and even treatment for hepatitis C is determined not by insufficiency of national funding, but by inadequate national priorities. Political leadership is lacking in support of prevention services for people who inject drugs, and as a result international donor mechanisms are the biggest source of funding for evidence-based services for people who use drugs. Yet the reach and effectiveness of donor investments are limited by existing law enforcement policies that do not create supportive legal environments for protecting the health of people who inject drugs."


Merkinaite, S. "A war against people who use drugs: the costs" (Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN): Vilnius, Lithuania, 2012), pp. 22-23.