There are three reasons why we have prisons: to protect the public from violent offenders, to provide a form of punishment to those who commit crimes, and to rehabilitate those who do break the law so they can become members of our communities once more.

The EMCDDA DRID expert meeting brings together specialists from across Europe to discuss the latest developments in drug-related infectious diseases in Europe, covering the main topic areas of epidemiology, responses and monitoring.

An illustration contest was organised to enrich training materials on substitution treatment in penitentiary units in Poland by the National AIDS Center and Służewiec Penitentiary Unit, in collaboration with the Joint Action HA-REACT project .

We have spent one day with the mobile clinic in Kyiv, Ukraine, that provides HIV testing for people who inject drugs. The social worker Tatiana quit using drugs and has now been diagnosing five HIV cases monthly.

For decades, guns and imprisonment have been the hallmarks of Brazil’s war against the drug trafficking. But the only way to beat the gangs is to stop creating criminals, says a top Brazilian judge

When Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, the peninsula’s new leadership announced the substitution therapy (OAT) would be banned.

A recent study shows that the bail conditions placed on alleged offenders — especially drug users — are preventing access to harm-reduction services in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

In response to the fentanyl crisis that's taken a toll on Vancouver and other parts of Canada, Quebec says it will expand its free antidote program.

Jennifer Marie Johnson is currently serving six years in a Minnesota prison for giving her husband methadone that led to a fatal overdose. Erik Scott Brown got 23 years in federal prison after his friend overdosed on one-tenth of a gram of heroin. Samantha Molkenthen, a 21-year-old from Wisconsin, got 15 years after her friend died while they shared heroin. Molkenthen was pregnant when she was arrested and had to give up her child for adoption.

Today, more than half of all people living with HIV in the United States are 50 years or older. This is mostly because people are living much longer with HIV thanks to effective antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, and that’s good news.

A number of European countries have implemented drug checking with the aim of providing targeted preventive messages to recreational drug users. This approach, which is more individualised than mass media campaigns, provides an incentive for drug users to participate in a dialogue about prevention and harm reduction, because they get to know the test results, that is they receive information about the particular drugs they are consuming.

Sex workers are 10 times more at risk of HIV compared with the general population, due to an increased likelihood of being economically vulnerable, unable to negotiate consistent condom use, and experiencing violence, criminalisation and marginalisation.

People who inject drugs (PWID) are a key population affected by the global HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemics. HIV and HCV prevention interventions for PWID include needle and syringe programmes (NSP), opioid substitution therapy (OST), HIV counselling and testing, HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART), and condom distribution programmes. We aimed to produce country-level, regional, and global estimates of coverage of NSP, OST, HIV testing, ART, and condom programmes for PWID.

San Francisco is a step closer to becoming the nation's first city to open a safe injection facility (SIF) for drug users.

On World Development Information Day, we look at an innovative HIV self-testing app being introduced to all UNAIDS Fast-Track Cities which aims to bridge the divide between testing, treatment and care.

It is estimated that over 1 million people receive treatment for drug-related problems in the European Union every year. With shrinking public budgets, increasing pressure on health systems, changes in the substances used and the need to provide ongoing care to chronic cases, how can we estimate the cost of drug treatment in Europe?

Recently, driven largely by opioid-related deaths—predominantly of our white sisters and brothers—President Donald Trump proclaimed that the opioid problem was now a national emergency. He vowed to "spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis" because "it is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had."

In Portugal, drug addiction is treated as a disease – not a crime. Could that make all the difference?

The relationship between HIV and human rights

Evaluation is essential for effective policymaking, helping ensure that policies and programmes have the desired effect, provide value for money and do not have negative unintended consequences. The importance of evaluation has been recognised in all EU drug strategies and in the strategies of many Member States.