Opioid Substitution in India

SPYM centres aim to reduce the harms associated with opiate use, such as overdose and transmission of infectious diseases

Centro SPYM

SPYM’s primary goal is to minimise the negative consequences of opioid dependence on individuals and communities – photo SPYM, all rights reserved.

SPYM runs four opioid substitution therapy centres (OST) in Delhi i.e. Chandni Chowk, R.K Puram, Dakshinpuri and Kotla in collaboration with NDDTC AIIMS. This centers are effective in substantially reducing drug use, HIV risk behaviours, death from overdose and criminal activity, and financial and other stresses on drug users and their families.

OST centers aim to reduce the harms associated with opioid use, such as overdose, transmission of infectious diseases (e.g., HIV and Hepatitis C), and illegal behaviors. The primary goal is to minimize the negative consequences of opioid dependence on individuals and communities. In addition these centres:

  • Provide evidence-based medication-assisted treatment using drugs such as buprenorphine as substitutes for illicit opioids. The objective is to stabilize individuals by reducing withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and drug-seeking behaviors. This approach allows for improved functioning and a better quality of life.
  • Offer a range of supportive services to assist individuals in their recovery journey. This can include counseling, psychosocial interventions, and referrals to other healthcare professionals or social support networks. The objective is to address the underlying factors contributing to opioid dependence and facilitate long-term recovery.
  • Reintegrate individuals into society by reducing opioid dependence, these centers help individuals rebuild their lives and contribute positively to their communities.
  • Work towards preventing relapse by providing ongoing support and monitoring to individuals undergoing treatment. They may conduct regular drug testing, offer counseling and psychological support, and provide strategies for relapse prevention. The objective is to help individuals maintain their recovery and reduce the risk of returning to opioid use.
  • Focus on improving overall health outcomes for individuals by addressing co-occurring health conditions, providing access to healthcare services, promoting harm reduction practices, and offering education on safe injection practices and safer sex.
  • Engage in advocacy efforts to promote policies and practices that support evidence based treatment for opioid dependence.
  • Work with policymakers, community organizations, and healthcare providers to reduce stigma, improve access to treatment, and ensure the availability of comprehensive services for individuals with opioid use disorders.

During the 2022/2023 financial year 1,678 people have enrolled in the OST programme

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