Russian Foreign Minister Slams Drug Substitution Therapy Amid Country's HIV Epidemic

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has spoken out against drug substitution therapy at Moscow's International Anti-Drug Forum, the state-run TASS news agency reported Sunday.

Lavrov condemned drugs as a "global danger," but dismissed “liberal concepts like drug substitution therapy” as contradictory.  

“Our understanding of the essence of the problem does not implies replacing one drug high with another,” Lavrov told visitors at the event, which was held in a village outside Moscow over the weekend. 

“It implies total and conscious renunciation of drug use… Our goal is a drug-free world.”

Drug substitution therapy replacing opiate substances with methadone. It is supported by the World Health Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes and UNAIDS, which consider substitution therapy as one of the most effective methods of treating opioid addiction and decreasing the risks of spreading HIV and other drug use-related diseases.

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