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Harm reduction overview for Romania

Map of Romania

1. National context

Up to 2010 prevention activities targeting drug-related infectious diseases related to injecting were mainly financed under the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and were implemented by NGOs. In 2007 needle and syringe programmes funded by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) were also set up. However, the technical support programmes ended in 2010–11, and in order to address the potential ending of service provision the National Anti-Drug Agency took measures to provide clean needles and syringes through the National Programme of Medical, Psychological and Social Care of Drug Users 2009–12 (syringes were procured for supply in 2012 and 2013). In addition, a decision on further project-based support to NGOs involved in harm reduction service provision was taken. Resources from the structural funds were also allocated in 2011–12, to close the funding gap of the services. In addition, the General Council of Bucharest approved the financial support for harm reduction services. These resources helped fund an NGO-led project providing harm reduction and reintegration programmes for people who inject drugs in 2012–13. Despite all these efforts, further sustainability and funding of harm reduction responses in Romania remains a challenge, although the government made a commitment to step up and expand harm reduction responses in the new National Strategy on Narcotics 2013–20 and its first Action Plan (2013–16).

Needle and syringe programmes are implemented in Bucharest, which is considered to have the most serious problems related to injecting drug use, and also in two counties. However, the demand for such services outside the capital remains low. The 2013 HIV risk assessment confirmed an ongoing lack of prevention coverage in Romania. Two NGOs run outreach programmes for people who inject drugs, and provide needle and syringe exchange programmes, in fixed locations (five units) and via street workers and mobile teams (114 outreach sites), and a needle and syringe programme is available in two prisons. In 2013 NGOs provided services to 5 148 drug users and distributed around two million syringes, nearly doubling the 2012 level of provision. In addition to clean needles and syringes, the programmes also provide free voluntary counselling and testing, free hepatitis A virus and HBV vaccinations, support and information, risk reduction counselling, condoms and referrals to other services. Treatment of drug-related infectious diseases is considered relatively accessible in cases of HIV infection, and difficult in cases of HCV infection.

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2. Responses to prevent and reduce drug-related infectious diseases

Needle and syringe programmes Country  data
Availability of  NSP programmes  Extensive
% NSP availability at NUTS3  17 %
Drug use equipment distributed at specialised drug agencies (standard prevention material)
availability of alcohol pads  Yes
availability of dry wipes  Yes
availability of containers  Yes
availability of water  Yes
availability of condoms  Yes
availability of foil  No

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.
Testing, vaccination and treatment of infections Country  data
Availability of Hepatitis C testing in the community  Limited
Availability of universal hepatitis B immunization programme  Yes
Hepatitis B vaccination programme specific for high risk groups  Yes
ARV treatment of HIV infection  Extensive

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.
Health promotion responses Country  data
Availability of individual counselling programmes  Limited
Availability of programmes for practical advice and training on 'safer use/safer injecting'  Extensive
Involvement of peer educators in the response to infectious diseases prevention  Yes

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.

Drug Treatment

See the country specific treatment profile.

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3. Responses to prevent and reduce drug-related deaths

Availability of drug-related death responses in the community Country  data
Availability of overdose information materials  Rare
Availability of individual overdose risk assessment (provided by trained drugs or health workers)  Rare
Availability of overdose response training  Rare

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2014.
Availability expert rating scale:

  • Full – nearly all persons in need would obtain it.
  • Extensive – a majority but not nearly all of them would obtain it.
  • Limited – more than a few but not a majority of them would obtain it.
  • Rare – just a few of them would obtain it.
Availability of drug consumption rooms Country  data
Number of facilities n.av.
Number of cities n.av.
Number of consumptions per year n.av.

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2011.
N.Av. stands for ‘The intervention is not available in the country’.

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4. Responses to prevent and reduce drug-related harms in recreational settings

Provision of specific responses implemented in night clubs and festivals Free, accessible, cold water Immediate First Aid ‘Chill out’ rooms Information material Outreach work Amnesty bins
Night clubs  Does not exist  Does not exist  Rare  Rare Rare  Does not exist
Festivals  Does not exist  Does not exist  Rare  Rare  Rare  Does not exist

Sources:

Structured questionnaire 'Prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug use' (SQ23/29), submitted in 2011.
Provision expert rating scale:

  • Full – in nearly all night clubs/festivals.
  • Extensive – a majority of night clubs/festivals provide the intervention (but not nearly all of them).
  • Limited – more than a few night clubs/festivals provide the intervention (but not a majority of them).
  • Rare – just a few night clubs/festivals provide the intervention.

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5. References and links

Related EMCDDA resources

 

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The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 03 June 2015