Law Enforcement and Drug Treatment: A Culture Clash

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Science  09 Jul 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5988, pp. 169
DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5988.169

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In a March raid on an opiate-substitution treatment center in Ukraine, a client, the clinic's doctor, and a nurse were arrested. After a high-powered attorney intervened, the police freed the client the next day without charging her. But the doctor remained in jail for 4 days. The police also confiscated files from the clinic. Without the staff and the records, the clinic remained shuttered, leading to a massive protest by clients that attracted much media attention and sent waves of concern that have rippled far and wide. Clients say the raid on the clinic undermines a broader agenda to encourage injecting drug users to seek help and, if they're still injecting, take advantage of other harm-reduction programs such as needle exchange or treatment and counseling for their HIV infection.