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Illicit drug use is a serious problem in Russia today, with estimates of the numbers of users ranging between 3 and 6 million people.
The vast majority of individuals addicted to drugs in Russia do not have access to evidence –based medical care to treat their dependency. One of the most effectives of drug dependence treatments like methadone is prohibited in Russia.
Human Right Watch also found that Russia imposes unnecessary restrictions on the rights of people on the drug user registry and thereby violates the principle of non-discrimination.
The close links between injection drug use and HIV infection add extra urgency to the need for effective drug dependence treatment. Injection drug users make up an estimated 65 to 80 per cent of all persons living with HIV in Russia and around 10 per cent of injection drug users in Russia are HIV-positive.