Russia needs 300 rehabilitation centers for drug addicts

It is necessary to open about 300 rehabilitation centers for drug addictswith the total capacity of 30,000 patients, Russian Health Minister YuryShevchenko said in a report at a meeting of the government commission onprevention of drug use. According to him, expert councils for coordinatingnarcological programs will be established in each federal district beforethe end of 2002. This will allow for creating a unified system ofscientific and practical narcological institutions in Russia, operating onthe basis of common scientific and methodological principles. It is plannedto open 53 centers in 2002. 89 centers and 111 centers are to be opened in2003 and 2004 respectively. Shevchenko underlined that the rehabilitation centers should not be justmedical institutions, but organizations gradually restoring the damagedpersonalities of drug addicts. In his opinion, the process of creation ofrehabilitation centers for drug addicts has so far been extremely slow inRussia due to financial problems, a lack of qualified specialists and theabsence of respective scientific and methodological support. Nonetheless,Shevchenko believes that the respective efforts have become somewhat moreactive since the issue of a resolution on such centers by the HealthMinistry 2.5 years ago. 25 such centers with the capacity of 1,000 patientscreated at the expense of regions of Russia and 31 rehabilitation centerfinanced by commercial companies, humanitarian organizations and religiouscommunities have been opened in Russia as of now. .