Russia To Send Drug Addicts to Compulsory Treatment, Here is How

Armen Hareyan's picture
Compulsory drug addiction treatment in Russia

In case of refusal of forced treatment, drug addicts have to pay a fine equal to $140, or subjected to administrative detention for 30 days.

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Starting May 1st of 20014, drug addicts in Russia can be sent to compulsory treatment. This became possible due to the changes Russian Parliament (Duma) made in the federal criminal law in late 2013. If drug addicts refuse treatment, they will be subjected to a $140 fine or administrative detention for 30 days.

Nearly 8 million drug users in Russia

According to the Russian federal services there are nearly eight million drug addicts and the country is losing nearly 130,000 lives yearly. The problem was getting out of control and the government decide to act and help the people.

Who will be sent to compulsory drug treatment?

According to the Russian law drug addicts can only be recognized those citizens who have had a formal medical examination. Then there comes the court order. However, according to the law, the court order of compulsory treatment from drug addiction can only be assigned to the following three categories.

  1. Drug addicts who currently are under medical observation, continue to use narcotics and evade treatment.
  2. Those drug addicts who are serving some type of administrative detention. They will be offered a new diagnosis, to undergo preventive measures, treatment and social rehabilitation.
  3. Drug addicts that are serving sentence or punishment in form of a fine, compulsory work, forced labor, restriction of freedom or deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions.

The new law says that courts can prescribe medication only if the primary punishment is not connected with imprisonment. A special penal inspection will oversee the execution of convicted persons' obligation to undergo medical treatment for their drug addiction.

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Where the addicts will undergo compulsory treatment?

The state has put together an inter-agency program called "Comprehensive rehabilitation and re-socialization of consumers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances." This program makes provision of establishment of rehabilitation centers, both municipal and private. Patients can apply themselves or their parents can do so for them. In any case the law guarantees anonymity. These rehabilitation centers will work 24 hours a day and and a hotline will be available around the clock.

Currently regional authorities are in the process of determining how many rehabilitation centers are needed for their regions. Currently, in Russia there are about 500 rehabilitation centers and each one is designed for 20-50 people.

What will happen if a recognized drug addict evades compulsory treatment?

As mentioned above, there will be a fine of about 140 dollars and an administrative arrest for up to 30 days. If drug addicts refuse to attend the medical rehabilitative centers, voluntarily leave or fail to meet the requirements of a treating doctor for more than two times they will be considered as deviators.

The Public Likes This

According to MedikForum a survey was conducted by a foundation called "Public Forum," which indicates that the majority of Russians (80%) endorsed the bill. Only 14 percent of survey participants expressed their opposition to compulsory treatment for drug addicts.

I would love to hear the opinion of our readers in the comments section.

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