oa South African Medical Journal - Developing an advocacy agenda for increasing access to opioid substitution therapy as part of comprehensive services for people who use drugs in South Africa - editorial

Volume 108 Number 10
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Opioid use disorders, including heroin use disorders, account for 70% of the global burden of drug-related disease[1] and disproportionately affect people who have unmet social, emotional, economic, health and other needs.[2,3] Heroin is widely available in South Africa (SA)[4,5] and there is an upward trend in numbers of people using heroin who access drug use treatment facilities registered with the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use.[6] In addition, there is increasing concern around the link between injecting heroin use, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV and the impact this could have on SA communities and the healthcare system.[7]

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