The Slovak National Anti-Drug Strategy (2013-20) endorses the provision of effective risk reduction measures for people who use drugs. Four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operate harm reduction programmes in five towns (Bratislava, Sereď, Nitra, Trnava, Košice) and, in addition to the dedicated NGOs providing harm reduction services, three public drug treatment centres provide needle and syringe exchange services. The NGO-run programmes are licensed by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, and they are mainly funded by grants from the Ministry of Health or from local governments.
Harm reduction programmes, provided through fixed sites or by mobile outreach, primarily serve people who inject drugs (PWID); however, other high-risk groups, such as sex workers and homeless drug users, may also use such services. In addition to access to clean injecting equipment, harm reduction programmes provide counselling and information on safer drug use, screening for drug-related infectious diseases and other support services.
According to the most recent data, following a two-year decrease in the number of needles and syringes distributed by the NGO programmes, an increase was reported in distributed syringes between 2015 and 2016. Methamphetamine (pervitin) users represent the majority of harm reduction services’ clients, while the proportion of clients who inject heroin has been declining over the years. It is estimated that a minority of problem drug users are reached by existing programmes. For this reason, pharmacies remain the main source of clean needles and syringes for PWID in Slovakia.
|Country||Needle and syringe programmes||Take-home naloxone programmes||Drug consumption rooms||Heroin-assisted treatment|