FCDA to extend support to rehabilitation of addicts

Moscow 4 August 2014

The Federal Drug Control Agency in Russia (FCDA) is to extend support to the rehabilitation of addicts


President Putin has signed an order empowering the FCDA to co-ordinate the activities of the federal and local enforcement agencies in regard to rehabilitation (excluding medical) and re-socialising of drug abusers and to aid socially oriented NGOs (SONGOS) working in the field. The order also confers power on the FCDA to draw up and oversee the implementation of anti-drugs programmes, organise and conduct scientific research into controlling the trafficking of drugs and psychoactive substances and to submit proposals for improving the legislation on narcotic substances and on the rehabilitation and re-socialising of drug addicts.

The FCDA has observed that the order promotes the creation of a national system for the comprehensive rehabilitation and re-socialising of abusers. The agency intends to link together 500 rehabilitation centres (both religious and private) that help addicts. According to Kommersant the FCDA reckons that in this way it will be possible to help up to 20,000 people every year.

Currently there are only 18 rehabilitation centres in the country and 88 medico-social rehabilitation departments offering 2249 beds. The ministry of health told Kommersant that in addition there were four rehabilitation centres functioning in the regions under the auspices of local authorities providing 240 beds. Addicts may also be rehabilitated in specialised day clinics. However, 532,895 drug abusers were registered in Russia in 2013.

In the run-up to the order being issued, communal organisations were equivocal about the intention to expand the FCDA’s powers.

Oleg Zykov, the president of No to Alcoholism thought that the ministry of health or of labour should deal with the rehabilitation of addicts rather than an enforcement agency, or that other mechanisms or tools ought to be created to deal with the problem. When the bill was discussed in December at hearings in the federal public chamber, the director of the Institute for Human Rights, Valentin Defter, said that the government was arrogating to itself ‘an unlimited range of powers extending to control of the NGOs, while chamber member Elena Topoleva said that the FCDA was intending to duplicate the functions of numerous departments.

Author: Yulia Vyatkina


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