Treatment-related objectives in the National Drugs Strategy 2013-20 and the related Action Plan place an emphasis on diversification of treatment access points and treatment programmes in Romania. In general, drug treatment is funded from the public budget, and, as such, is free of charge for clients.
In Romania, outpatient drug treatment is provided through a network of Drug Prevention, Evaluation and Counselling Centres. In some regions of the country they are complemented by Addiction Integrated Care Centres (private or NGO based) and Mental Health Centres under the Ministry of Health (MoH). The inpatient treatment system network consists of detoxification units in MoH hospitals and therapeutic communities run by NGOs.
The outpatient system provides integrated care services, psychosocial treatment and case management, while specialised medical, psychological and social services for psychosocial reintegration of drug users is available through an inpatient network. Aftercare services are not as readily available, with only one day-care centre near Bucharest, and several foundations and NGOs offering assistance in other Romanian cities. Opioid substitution treatment (OST) is provided in nine MoH hospitals and three Drug Prevention, Evaluation and Counselling Centres in Bucharest, as well as in prisons. In addition, three private providers and one NGO provide OST.
Drug treatment in Romania settings and number treated
NBYear of data 2015.
Trends in percentage of clients entering specialised drug treatment, by primary drug, in Romania
NB Year of data 2015.
Opioid substitution treatment in Romania proportions of clients in OST by medication and trends of the total number of clients
NB Year of data 2015.
In 2015, a total of 3 240 people entered specialised drug treatment services, more than in 2014. Most clients were treated in outpatient settings; fewer than one third received treatment in inpatient units. Cannabis was the primary substance used by treatment clients in Romania — especially among those entering treatment for the first time. It is important to note that these entries usually followed a referral by a law enforcement agency as part of the procedure that allows treatment as an alternative to imprisonment for certain categories of offenders. In general, police referrals account for around half of all treatment demands in Romania. Previously treated clients mainly requested treatment for heroin use. In recent years, an increasing proportion of clients who entered treatment for NPS use has been reported; in 2015, 4 out of 10 clients entered inpatient treatment as a result of their use of NPS.
In Romania, methadone maintenance treatment was introduced in 1998, buprenorphine in 2007 and the combination buprenorphine/naloxone in 2008. OST coverage in Romania is estimated to be poor.