In Bulgaria, harm reduction as a public health objective is addressed in the Narcotic Substances and Precursors Control Act and the terms and conditions for implementing harm reduction programmes are set out in a regulation issued by the Minister of Health in 2011.
In 2016, seven harm reduction programmes, operated by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were active in Bulgaria, providing services at 8 fixed and 122 outreach sites across the country. The work of these NGOs is funded in the framework of the National HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention Programme.
In addition to providing services to people who inject drugs, these NGOs also address the needs of other high-risk groups, such as people of Roma origin who use drugs and sex workers. The services provided include information and training on safe injecting, safe sexual behaviour and the prevention of overdoses and infectious diseases; testing for blood-borne infections; and supplying sterile injecting equipment. Most services are provided through outreach workers in the street or in shelters and institutions, but drop-in centres are available. In recent years, the number of syringes distributed through specialised agencies has fallen. In 2016, an estimated almost 215 000 syringes were distributed through specialised agencies and outreach programmes.
|Country||Needle and syringe programmes||Take-home naloxone programmes||Drug consumption rooms||Heroin-assisted treatment|