close Icon

Challenges in providing drug user treatment services in Russia: providers' views.

Bobrova N, Rughnikov U, Neifeld E, Rhodes T, Alcorn R, Kirichenko S, Power R

  • Journal Substance use & misuse

  • Published 17 Feb 2009

  • Volume 43

  • ISSUE 12-13

  • Pagination 1770-84

  • DOI 10.1080/10826080802289291


The estimated number of opiate users in Russia is 2,000,000 and heroin consumption is continuing to increase. The Russian government is discussing the initiation of compulsory treatment to bring illegal drug users to the treatment services. At the same time, there is no access to the evidence-based treatment for opiate addiction such as methadone and buprenorphine maintenance programs. Qualitative interviews were conducted with drug user treatment service providers (N = 35) in Barnaul, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg, Russia, in 2003-2004 to examine their views on drug user treatment services in Russia. The framework approach was used in data collection and analysis. Study participants identified major challenges in service provision for drug using population, including lack of resources, rehabilitation programs, and social support. It also depicted ambivalent attitudes toward compulsory treatment and clients' registration. The Russian drug user treatment system desperately needs resources allocation to provide quality care and diversify in its services in order to achieve long-term recovery. At this stage, it seems unreasonable to initiate compulsory treatment as is advocated by some government officials.