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Russia calls to abandon doubtful methods in drug addiction treatment

Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, August 6. /TASS/. Russia recommends international experts to abandon doubtful methods in the treatment of drug addiction and search for truly effective methods in the fight against this threat, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said on Monday, answering a question about "harm reduction programs."

The diplomat pointed to "expert recommendations" made at the international conference on AIDS and HIV dubbed "AIDS 2018," which was held in Amsterdam on July 23-27. "There were appeals for our country to turn to the so-called ‘harm reduction programs,’ including the needle and syringe exchange and the distribution of methadone among people who are on injectable drugs," Syromolotov noted.

"In light of this, we’d like to note the following: The strategy of the state anti-drug policy of the Russian Federation by 2020 enshrines the inadmissibility of the use of maintenance treatment methods in our country for patients with drug dependence with the use of narcotic and psychotropic substances and the drug use legalization for non-medical purposes," the high-profile diplomat said. "The federal law ‘On narcotic and psychotropic substances’ prohibits the treatment of drug dependence with narcotic substances (Item 6 Section 31), and methadone (phenadone) is on the list of drug substances which are prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation." The deputy minister highlighted that maintenance treatment programs may lead to a higher number of addicts among the population, wider legal drug trafficking and higher corruption risks in healthcare and law enforcement bodies, as well as develop tolerance toward drug use in society.

He reiterated that Russia has "an effective multi-level treatment and rehabilitation complex to cure drug users from reliance on drugs with total abstinence, which includes treatment, medical and social rehabilitation and resocialization."

"We hope that this information will help international experts hold off from making any doubtful prescriptions and, together with Russian colleagues, find effective methods to cure drug addiction and related disorders," Syromolotov concluded.