The devastating effects of the Russian 'ban on methadone' are being felt in Crimea, with as many as 20 former Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) patients having died since it's implementation.
According to a report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), not only have up to 20 former patients died, countless others are suffering from untreated diseases such as HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis, while others still are trying to flee the area in a desperate bid to find the life saving treatment elsewhere.
Data from Canadian studies has shown that the percentages of people who inject drugs with a used needle have varied from just under 9%, up to 27%. Unfortunately, needles are far from the only item being reused or shared.
Cookers, filters, sterile water, ascorbic acid and tourniquets are among some of the other popular items that are being used on more than one occasion and/or shared amongst the sexual partners, family and friends of intravenous drug users.
While advocates of harm reduction initiatives have long cited the critical need for the distribution of clean, sterile supplies to intravenous drug users; educating and informing users regarding the dangerous practice of supply sharing, as well as its risks is crucial in order to prevent the further spread of communicable diseases and infection.
More frightening news coming out of Russia. The drafting of a new bill proposes that HIV positive patients, as well as those with other dangerous diseases be required to submit to fingerprinting, which would then be contributed to and stored in a national database.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
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