Navigation Links
IAS urges Russian government to radically reassess counterproductive drug policies
Date:6/27/2011

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 (www.viennadeclaration.com), 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
lindsey.rodger@iasociety.org
International AIDS Society
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... Chuck E. Cheese’s® and Center for Autism and ... at Chuck E. Cheese’s locations throughout New England, New York and New Jersey to ... experience the fun of visiting Chuck E. Cheese’s in a sensory-friendly environment. , ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... Braun Industries will be participating as ... the event will take place February 23-25, 2017 at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt ... #909 with three new ambulances on display. , “JEMS is a ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... Devicemakers , Sponsored by Axendia, **FDAnews Free Webinar**, March 1, 2017 — ... looking to reduce their regulatory burden? Pay dividends in enhanced and predictable ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Park Cities Pet Sitter ... Show on the Pet Life Radio network. The episode, which was posted this ... topics including: what factors led to Park Cities Pet Sitter’s being awarded the 2017 ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... While EHR data has ... introduced an innovative workstation designed to reduce nursing fatigue while enhancing productivity. Based ... Workstation offers a lightweight, highly mobile, multi-functional alternative to the limitations of handheld ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... 17, 2017 According to a new market ... Particle Counters), Application (Cleanroom Monitoring, Contamination Monitoring of Liquids), and End ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach USD 330.6 Million ... of 3.7% from 2016 to 2021. ... ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. ... comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada , ... , Latin America , and Rest of World. Annual ... a six-year historic analysis is provided for these markets. Market data and ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... 17, 2017  BioDigital, Inc., creators of the ... their 3D body mapping technology with eClinicalWorks, a ... integration will be used to capture and present ... the human body. BioDigital pilots show using a ... also increasing the precision of clinical annotations compared ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: