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Olga Blinova Voronezh Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation AntiAIDS Centre. Experience of Cooperation between Law Enforcement Institutions and Civic Organisations Pilot Scheme of Referrals for Drug Users in Voronezh City, Russia. Prerequisites.

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olga blinova voronezh autonomous non profit organisation antiaids centre
Olga Blinova


Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation

AntiAIDS Centre

Experience of Cooperation between Law Enforcement Institutions and Civic Organisations Pilot Scheme of Referrals for Drug Users in Voronezh City, Russia


Links between drug use and drug-related crime:

both crime and drug use

are related to other social

economic problems

Difficulty in getting access to efficient treatment and prevention services

pilot scheme of referrals for drug users in voronezh city
Pilot Scheme of Referrals for Drug Users in Voronezh City

This a partner initiative between the police and local services working with drug users.

Target group: drug users detained at Levoberezhny PD

schemes of referral for treatment
Schemes of Referral for Treatment

Goal: stemming the spread of HIV-infection, other socially significant illnesses and drug-related crime

Enhancing access to available treatment and prevention services and rehabilitation programmes

functioning principles of the scheme of referral for treatment
Functioning Principles of the Scheme of Referral for Treatment

are realised by police-independent services using the fact of detentionby the police as akey opportunityto offer help and access to treatment with a view to stemming drug-related crime

No alternative to criminal persecution or law enforcement but a direct way from the jail to treatment and prevention services.


Work to involve people at the place of detention for an administrative offence: all detainees are offered an opportunity to meet a counsellor to obtain referral for treatment

A police officer invites a counsellor to work with the detainee

The counsellor establishes a trust-based relationship with the client and interviews him or her


Finding out the detainee's needs

Compiling a social assistance plan

referral of detainees for treatment to state medical services and available programmes The counsellor’s task: interview, issue of referral, escort

Follow-up report

partner organisations
Partner organisations

UNODC – financial and methodological assistance

Voronezh County Central Authority of the Interior (GUVD)

Voronezh County Administration

Central Authority of Health and AIDS medical services

Voronezh County Public Chamber ROA

preparation for the project launch
Preparation for the Project Launch

Meetings with the Governor of Voronezh County, heads of the GUVD and the FSKN, health care chiefs

Levoberezhny District of Voronezh was chosen the programme site as one of the most difficult districts from the viewpoint of drug use.

The management of the GUVD and the RUVD of Levoberezhny District of Voronezh supported the initiative to become a pilot project site

project card of schemes of referral for treatment
Project Card of Schemes of Referral for Treatment

all drug users detained for administrative offences or crimes are issued a project card with the counsellor's telephone number

counsellors work
Counsellors' Work

Counsellors for referral for treatment: these are specialists for working with detained drug users at police units - the staff of the AntiAIDS Centre

Their key task is to identify problem drug users among the detainees and refer them to relevant services.

Counsellors often continue supporting the detainees throughout the entire period of awaiting treatment or other help.

counsellors knowledge capabilities and skills
Counsellors' Knowledge, Capabilities and Skills

Addiction issues

Information on services available: medical, social, psychological, legal

Legal issues

Ability to listen – basic skills of psychological counselling

Ability to evaluate

Ability to communicate and establish relations with the police, social services, NGOs, etc.

counsellors functions
Counsellors' Functions

To explain the scheme to detainees

To evaluate

To issue referrals for treatment

To develop work with the police, partner organisations providing medical and social services

Collection of information and interviews

drug user treatment constituents
Drug User Treatment Constituents

Treatment can be defined as a kind of interference aimed at correction of a certain problem or disease having impact on behaviour or psychological conditions.

Treatment starts from full assessment followed by compilation of the assistance plan;

further treatment is based on agreed social assistance procedures.

Psychological assistance is included in the concept of treatment.

obstacles for idus to treatment
Obstacles for IDUs to Treatment

Obstacles to treatment

Financial limitations

Fear of registration as a drug user

Opinion that treatment services available are little efficient

what services needed by detained drug users
What Services Needed by Detained Drug Users

Over 3 months (January to March 2007) of work the project was contacted by 54 IDUs

  • 94% of them needed HIV testing
  • 67% – addiction-related assistance
  • 60% – needle and syringe exchange programmes
  • 57% – counselling by a psychologist and specialist in skin and sexually transmitted infections
  • 205% – rehabilitation programmes
  • 22% asked for referrals for hepatitis tests
  • 15% needed infection treatment and 9% – tuberculosis tests
  • 4% declared their HIV+ status
project impact
Project Impact

Increase in activity of the police in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention

Enhancing access to medical and social services

Carrying out project-based research to analyse the situation

Access to another, more closed group of IDUs (80% of clients of the pilot scheme were not involved in HR programmes)

peculiarities of the pilot scheme functioning
Peculiarities of the Pilot Scheme Functioning

Account of priorities of the current law enforcement system: the role of the police is to prevent recurrence of crimes and to curb crime

Selection and training of counsellors: to know where and what to say, communicative abilities, legal knowledge

Aiming at practical results: treatment, withdrawal from drug use as a long-term outcome

sustainable results what are we to achieve
Sustainable Results:What Are We to Achieve?

Curbing high-risk behavioural practices

(no use of non-sterile injection paraphernalia)‏

Reduction of drug use

Retention in the treatment programme

Drug-free life

Stemming drug-related crime

Reducing the pace of spread of HIV, virus hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases

antiaids@comch ru antiaids centre voronezh russia
[email protected]

AntiAIDS Centre

Voronezh, Russia

Thank you!