Drug Treatment In Russia

Not surprisingly it’s harsh:

The treatment center does not handcuff addicts to their beds anymore. But caged together on double-decker bunks with no way out, they have no choice but to endure the agonies of withdrawal, the first step in a harsh, coercive approach to drug treatment that has gained wide support in Russia. […]

Most experts in drug treatment condemn this approach as a primitive, brutal and ineffective way to address the problem, saying that addiction is a much more complex and intractable challenge and that simply drying out cannot bring a lasting cure.

“What they present as drug treatment has absolutely no basis in evidence,” said Diederik Lohman, a senior researcher at the monitoring group Human Rights Watch who took part in a recent study of narcotics use and treatment in Russia.


Russia bans the use of methadone.

What I’ve learned from Mark Kleiman is that the role for coercion probably comes later in the process. Hard as it is to “go clean” from any addictive substance, what’s even harder is to stay clean. If somebody needs to get himself tested regularly, with a sure shot of punishment if he flunks, then the actual punishment can be quite mild and you can do a great deal of good keeping the patient on track.