Response stories

Problems of access to opioid substitution therapy in correctional facilities

One of the problems faced by vulnerable populations is the high threshold of access to the program of substitution maintenance therapy (SMT), specifically the ability to access drugs only at the medication-dispensing sites, unavailability of drugs in detention or imprisonment settings, etc.

A client who had previously sought help from the REAct project complained about violation of his right to access treatment. This man living with HIV was receiving OST in the drug addiction treatment unit in the area of his residence. He was sent to a correctional facility in another location to serve his sentence. Having no access to OST in the correctional center, the man experienced acute withdrawal syndrome for three days.

The client knew about the REAct system, he called the REActor and asked for help in accessing OST. He was immediately transferred to the OST Hotline and given the necessary advice on what to do in his situation. The next morning, the client’s access OST was restored and he received the medication needed.