Drug treatment, harm reduction, overdose prevention in custodial settings

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Short video showing safe needle exchange machine in a prison in Berlin, and a syringe & needle dispenser on a street.

In 2010, the Pompidou Group began its collaboration with the Republic of Moldova with the implementation of the project "Treatment and Harm Reduction in Prisons" (2010-2011),  intensified its work with the "Project Preventing Drug Trafficking and Abuse in Prisons" (2012-2013), and continues today with thefollow-up project "Supporting Drug Treatment Systems in Prisons" (2013-2015).

Moldova sets a positive example in the field of addiction treatment and harm reduction. The government has launched a programme that includes the detection of HIV infection, monitoring of HIV cases, needle and syringe exchange programmes and opiate substitution treatment (OST) in the community and also in prisons.

The prevalence of HIV in prison populations has been estimated to be up to 10 times higher than in the general population according to a UNAIDS report. Prisons in Moldova have implemented an innovative programme and are helping prisoners to get a new lease on life.


This video presents the model of opiate substitution treatment (OST) in managing opioid dependence of inmates in the Republic of Moldova. It was produced by the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group in collaboration with the Moldovan Department of Penitentiary Institutions for the training of prison staff.