Russia's 'cold turkey' approach highlights global divide over drug treatment at UN

Russian representative suggests methadone and heroin are the ‘same narcotic drug’ as outside experts condemn country’s take on treatment
The Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

As international leaders debated global drug law at the United Nations, a bizarre panel on heroin treatment showed just how divided countries are over how to treat addicts. The panel, sponsored by the Russian Federation, began with an international group of scientists and diplomats explaining the importance of evidence-based drug treatment, before a Russian doctor veered into addiction science denialism. "We prefer to treat people in a drug-free setting," Dr Oxana Guseva, a medical representative of the Russian Federation, told the Guardian afterward, "because methadone is the same narcotic drug as heroin." (See also: Russia, science, and the global war on drugs)