Russia’s Taste for Cold Turkey

Like America, Russia is battling a severe opioid crisis—but it has adopted a starkly different, “tough-love” approach in response.

Methadone replacement therapy common in the US and Europe is illegal in Russia—only aspirin is offered to dull the harsh pain of withdrawal. Russian doctors acknowledge a lower success rate—perhaps as low as 10% in contrast to the US’s 50%—but in their eyes, people dependent on methadone are not free from addiction. Some Russians consider replacement therapies a cheap substitute for rehab, explained Yevgeny Bryun of Moscow’s Center for Practical and Research Narcology.

Many western practitioners, in contrast, fear a cold-turkey approach dampens treatment seeking.

Christian Science Monitor

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