Bulletin of the World Health Organization

In this month’s Bulletin

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2013;91:81-81. doi: 10.2471/BLT.13.000213

In this special issue of the Bulletin, Zunyou Wu & Nicolas Clark (82) introduce the theme of opioid substitution therapy. Sheena Sullivan (83) explains why methadone maintenance programmes are needed. Fiona Fleck interviews Robin Room (91–92) about harm reduction and prohibition of illicit substances. Gary Humphreys (87–88) reports on progress and obstacles to effective opioid substitution therapy in Ukraine. Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala (89–90) describes how the United Republic of Tanzania has launched a national methadone programme to counter heroin use and HIV transmission.

Mubashar Sheikh et al. (84) announce an upcoming theme issue on human resources.


Improving outcomes

Yan Zhao et al. (93–101) measure the extent to which the provision of methadone and antiretroviral treatment has increased the survival of HIV-infected people who inject drugs.

Going to scale

Jianhua Li et al. (130–135) detail lessons learnt in the staffing of China’s national methadone maintenance treatment programme.

Bangladesh, India, Maldives & Nepal

Programme models

Ravindra Rao et al. (150–153) describe how opioid substitution therapy is delivered.


Reaching prisoners

Jeffrey A Wickersham et al. (124–129) report on supplying methadone in prisons.


From prohibition to prescription

Marta Torrens et al. (136–141) describe how a national strategy to reduce the harms of injected opioids reduced HIV transmission.


Deadly habits

Bradley M Mathers et al. (102–123) review the evidence for early deaths among people who inject drugs.

Why substitute?

Linda R Gowing et al. (148–149) identify the gaps in research on opioid substitution to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

Rights and responsibilities

Zunyou Wu (142–145) argues for compulsory treatment of opioid dependence. Wayne Hall & Adrian Carter (146) counter that proponents of this approach need to prove that it is effective and ethical. Nicolas Clark et al. (146–147) propose that voluntary treatment centers rather than extrajudicial detention should be used to manage opioid dependence.

A neglected cough

Haileyesus Getahun et al. (154–156) explain why tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment is a critical component of managing illicit drug use.