When we think about people who use drugs, there is a tendency to refer to drug rehabilitation centers as the solution, and without thinking about the importance of what the person actually needs or wants. Moreover, for women who use drugs, their experiences too often involve stigmatization, marginalization, and violence. Little is known about what happens in the many drug rehabilitation and treatment centers around Asia and whether they are helping or hurting. Conditions in drug rehabilitation centers can be overcrowded and poor, and fail to treat people with the standard of health and human rights that each of us deserve.
This year, twelve United Nations entities have issued a joint statement calling for the closure of compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centers. Amnesty International has also reported torture, sexual violence, and deaths in their report covering prisons and places of detention, including drug rehabilitation centres, on Cambodia.
To shed light on this issue, UNAIDS and the International Drug Policy Consortium launched a podcast series ‘Reality Bytes: On Drugs in Southeast Asia’ to chat with various experts about the real experiences of drug treatment and rehabilitation in the region. Tune in to hear stories and voices that are too rarely heard.
For more information, visit the websites of the International Drug Policy Consortium at https://idpc.net/ and UNAIDS Asia Pacific at https://unaids-ap.org/