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Drug treatment overview for Romania

Map of Romania

1. National context

The healthcare of drug users is coordinated and managed by the National Centre for Mental Health and the Fight Against Drugs within the Ministry of Health, and provided through national health programmes with therapeutic and social reintegration components. Since 2005 the National Anti-Drug Agency has coordinated activities in the drugs field at both national and local levels. Drug treatment is predominately delivered in public medical units (18 units in 2013), which are financed from the public budget and are operated under the coordination of the Ministry of Health, and in 28 Drug Prevention, Evaluation and Counselling Centres (in 2012), including three Addiction Integrated Care Centres under the coordination of the National Anti-Drug Agency. Three private practices and three centres managed by an NGO also provide drug treatment, including counselling and methadone maintenance treatment. There are two treatment centres within prisons (in addition, 12 outpatient centres provide in-reach treatment to prisoners), and two aftercare treatment centres. In general, drug treatment is funded by the national health programmes through a special budget line in the public authority budget.

The drug treatment system in Romania has three levels of assistance and care. The first level is the main access path to integrated care for drug users and provides treatment at primary medical assistance units and emergency rooms, together with general social services; it is delivered by public, private and non-governmental organisations. The second level is called the integrated care services. These are referral centres, operated exclusively by public treatment services, which provide psychiatric units for primary or specialised care, or for mental health treatment. The third level relates to highly specialised care, and consists of inpatient detoxification treatment and residential therapeutic communities. Aftercare services are poorly developed, with one day-care centre in the public network (near Bucharest) and several foundations and NGOs offering assistance in other Romanian cities.

Methadone was introduced in 1998, buprenorphine in 2007, and the combination buprenorphine/naloxone in 2008. The legal procedures for entering into opioid substitution treatment (OST) were revised in 2005 in order to simplify access to treatment.

The coverage rate for OST is estimated to be low, with a total of 371 clients in OST in 2013, of which 338 received methadone maintenance treatment.

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2. Treatment registries and monitoring systems

In 2005, the Romanian Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction started to implement a project aimed at improving its data collection network. The treatment centres reporting data received a computer with special software designed to collect individual data in an anonymous manner. These data are collected by the Romanian Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Collection started for Bucharest in 2005 and at a national level in 2006. The data collection fiche is fully compatible with the EU protocol and has been approved by government decision. 

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3. Treatment demand

Table 1: Number of clients entering treatment in Romania by year
Clients in treatment 2010 2011 2012 2013
Number of all clients entering treatment 2163 1853 1992 1645
Number of all clients entering treatment with known primary drug 2163 1853 1992 1645
% of which for opioid use 51.7 35.0 37 48.8
% of which for cocaine use 1.1 1.2 1 0.7
% of which for cannabis use 7.9 8.6 11 17.0
% of which for stimulants use (other than cocaine) 1.4 1.1 0 0.5
Number of new clients entering treatment 1228 1146 1006 715
Number of new clients entering treatment with known primary drug 1228 1146 1006 715
% of which for opioid use 42.7 29.6 25 33.6
% of which for cocaine use 1.7 1.6 2 1.3
% of which for cannabis use 12.4 11.3 18 27.3
% of which for stimulants use (other than cocaine) 2.0 1.5 0 1.1
Notes:
The variation across time, in particular with regard to the absolute numbers of clients in treatment, should be interpreted with caution as coverage data may have changed over time. For further information on coverage details please refer to the relevant EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Sources:

Reitox national reports 2014 and TDI tables.
EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015.

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4. Treatment provision

Table 2: Opioid substitution treatment provision in Romania
Opioid substitution treatment 2010 2011 2012 2013
Number of clients in opioid substitution treatment 601 742 531 371
of which with methadone N.Av. N.Av. 372 338
of which with buprenorphine N.Av. N.Av. 39 28
Notes:
For a detailed European overview please see the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015 (HSR section).
‘N. Av.’ stands for ‘No information available’.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Sources:
Standard Table 24 (ST24) on 'Treatment availability' submitted in 2014.
Table 3: Year of official introduction of opioid substitution treatment substances in Romania
Applied substances in opioid substitution treatment Officially introduced in
Methadone (MMT) 1998
Buprenorphine (HDBT) 2007
Heroin assisted treatment,including as trials N.App.
Slow-release morphine N.App.
Buprenorphine/naloxone combination 2008
Notes:
For a detailed European overview please see the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015 (HSR section).
‘N. App.’ stands for ‘Not applicable’.
‘N. Av.’ stands for ‘No information available’.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Sources:
Reitox national reports.
Table 4: Legal framework of opioid substitution treatment in Romania
Legal framework of opioid substitution treatment Methadone Buprenorphine
Do office-based medical doctors have the right to initiate the prescription of substitution treatment?    
Do specialised medical doctors have the right to initiate the prescription of substitution treatment?    
Notes:
For a detailed European overview please see the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015 (HSR section) .
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
'Specialised medical doctors' refers to specifically trained or accredited office-based medical doctors.
Sources:
Structured Questionnaire on 'Treatment programmes'(SQ27P1), submitted in 2014.

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5. References and links

Related EMCDDA resources

 

External links

Please note that the EMCDDA is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Treatment inventories

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About the EMCDDA

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: Thursday, 28 May 2015