UNODC supports national partners in ensuring the continuity and sustainability of treatment, care and rehabilitation during the COVID-19 pandemic for people who use drugs

To mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UNODC held a webinar on 24 June 2020 in Uzbekistan. The purpose of the event was to create a forum for national experts to share their experience on how to ensure the continuity and sustainability of drug dependence treatment, HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for people who use drugs. Moreover, the online workshop focused on implementation of evidence-based policies to ensure access to effective drug dependence treatment and HIV programmes for people who use drugs.

In his presentation, Mr. Borikhan Shaumarov, Coordinator of the programme on “Drug prevention, treatment and reintegration and HIV prevention”, outlined increasing challenges for treatment and care during COVID-19. He also briefed on UNODC suggestions about treatment, care and rehabilitation of people with drug use disorders in the context of the COVID-19, monitoring of the pandemic impact and ensuring continuum of treatment services during the crisis. 

Mr. Andrey Mokiy, Leading Specialist of the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministries of the Republic of Uzbekistan, briefed on the dynamics of the drug situation in the West Europe and Central Asia as well as  development of drug sale through Internet in the region during COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants also discussed experience of adaptation of the forms and methods of providing drug dependence treatment and care services to the COVID and post-COVID conditions. In particular, results of providing online psycho-social counselling and support to people with substance use disorders, initiated by the addiction professionals of the country, were presented.

A total of 50 health care providers and representatives of NGOs involved in drug dependence treatment, HIV prevention, care and support services to people who use drugs attended the webinar and expressed interest to continue the work of the forum.

The workshop was conducted within the Sub-programme 3 - “Drug prevention, treatment and reintegration and HIV prevention” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2015-2020.