Navigation Links
IAS urges Russian government to radically reassess counterproductive drug policies

28 June 2011. Geneva, Switzerland. As Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the Russian state Duma, calls for a "total war on drugs" to tackle Russia's growing drug problem, the International AIDS Society (IAS) urges the Russian government to radically reassess its approach to drug policy, and to accept that the war on drugs has failed dramatically from both a law enforcement and a public health perspective.

Under new laws being drawn up by the Russian parliament, injecting drug users would be forced into treatment or jailed, while drug dealers would be sent to forced labour camps. These new measures contradict the recommendations of the recent report by the Global Commission on Drugs Policy, which clearly states that there must be a shift away from criminalizing drugs and incarcerating those who use them, and which calls on policy makers to "end the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others."

These new measures also ignore existing solid scientific evidence demonstrating that harm reduction programmes, including Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), are effective in keeping injecting drug users (IDUs) in treatment programmes, reducing risky behaviors and mitigating a wide range of health and social consequences of drug dependence.

Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, injecting drug use accounts for approximately one in three new cases of HIV. In some areas of rapid HIV spread, such as in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, injecting drug use is the primary cause of new HIV infections. Legal barriers to scientifically proven prevention services such as needle and syringe programs and opioid substitution therapy (OST) mean hundreds of thousands of people become infected with HIV and Hepatitis C every year. The effectiveness of these programmes is well-documented, though access to such interventions is often limited in those locations where HIV is spreading most rapidly. According to various scientific reviews conducted by the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine (U.S.) and others, these programmes reduce HIV rates without increasing drug use.

"With an estimated 6 million heroin addicts, Russia's hard-line "war on drugs" has proved entirely ineffective in terms of curbing the growing numbers of injecting drug users, " said IAS President Elly Katabira. "Injecting drug-use is also fuelling Russia's HIV crisis because, despite the addition of OST medicines to the World Health Organization's essential medicine's list, and despite the growing international acknowledgement of the success of harm reduction programmes OST is banned in Russia and needle exchange programmes are scarce."

Last year, the International AIDS Society, along with other leading scientific and health policy organizations, launched the Vienna Declaration (, a statement seeking to improve community health and safety by calling for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies. The statement calls for a complete reorientation of international drug policy towards evidence-based approaches that respect, protect and fulfill human rights, and which would allow for the redirection of the vast financial resources spent on law-enforcement towards where they are needed most: implementing and evaluating evidence-based prevention, regulatory, treatment and harm reduction interventions. Over 20, 000 scientists, policy makers and political figures, including three former Latin American presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil), Ernesto Zedillo (Mxico) and Csar Gaviria (Colombia), have signed the declaration.

"To deny people evidence-based treatment and then to jail them in overcrowded prisons -- where individuals already vulnerable to HIV infection are placed in an even higher risk setting -- amounts to nothing less than state complicity in human rights abuses, "said Bertrand Audoin, IAS Executive Director. "Instead of criminalization, which has resulted in record incarceration rates and a massive burden on the taxpayer, the Russian government needs to turn its back on the harsh rhetoric of the "war on drugs" and instead invest time, effort and money in rehabilitation, substitution treatment, case management for drug users and protection from HIV infection."


Contact: Lindsey Rodger
International AIDS Society

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Urges Reduced Doses for Anemia Drugs
2. Invest in childrens health, urges former US Surgeon General
3. International AIDS Society urges world leaders at UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS to integrate a fourth pillar -- HIV cure research -- into the global response to the epidemic
4. Football Legend Steve Young Urges Kids, Parents to Play It Safe
5. Research!America urges Congress: Support medical research in 2012 budget
6. Have Cataracts? Get Surgery, Woman Urges
7. Smarten Up About Antibiotics, CDC Urges
8. Study Urges Teens to Cut Down on Salt
9. Government urges universal flu vaccinations
10. FDA Urges Limiting Antibiotics in Meat
11. APS urges greater federal investment in energy research
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... 12th International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two ... Announcement of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of ... of companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 ... wage. This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions today ... cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first two ... the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification solutions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing ... thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic ... Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to ... of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: ... its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated ... shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD ... solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: